Before the Future

{~ '2023-12-08 00:00:00' | amDateFormat: 'D/M' ~}–{~ '2024-02-03 00:00:00' | amDateFormat: 'D/M/Y' ~}

Curator: Iryna Miroshnykova, Oleksii Petrov, Borys Filonenko

In this exhibition, we would like to share the results of the work of five temporary newly-formed collectives that brought together more than fifty participants to create common statements within the program of the Ukrainian National Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2023.

Ukraine is fighting against Russian aggression for the ninth year, and, for the second year, in conditions of a full-scale war. The Biennale takes place at a time of the greatest doubts of Ukrainian men and women regarding personal life and professional strategies, a time of rethinking the role of architects in wartime, and a time of transforming relationships with space due to the experiences of war and experiences of regular terrorist attacks on Ukrainian cities and civil infrastructure. But at the same time, at the moment of greatest need to be present in the international dialogue, speaking on our behalf.

As the appointed curators of the Pavilion of Ukraine, we decided to create a project with an open scenario: instead of implementing a mono expression with selected authors, we proposed a form of alternative curation and shared participation with various agents of architectural, artistic, and scientific fields. If in the introduction to The Laboratory of the Future, curator Lesley Lokko wrote about imagination as a tool for building the future, we decided to imagine a process for creating a pavilion, which would give us the opportunity to ask questions, conduct multiple conversations within Ukraine and on the international platform, collect and tell stories and thus understand each other better.

We started by sending letters, conducting joint Zoom meetings with a circle of fifty participants, asking all those present to expand this circle by sending out their own invitations — first individually, then on behalf of the five temporary collectives that formed from the larger group. The design of this participation mechanism became the basis of the Before the Future project. As curators, we held dialogues with the newly-formed temporary collectives in order to present their statements in the Pavilion of Ukraine. By saying things that were partly complementary and partly critical, we gave the collectives no limits other than those that were inherent to capacities of the larger project. We wanted the exhibitions that were created to correspond with the principles of collective expression, which was the basis of this interaction.

After almost half a year of diligent work, we have combined interdisciplinary research, artworks and architectural models into a joint exhibition. We are presenting it for the first time here at VI PER Gallery.

Photo: Anna Ritterová (Studio Flusser)


Vítkova 2, Prague 8
Czech Republic
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