Exhibition Opening: Bearing Witness to War


The exhibition presents a selection from the IWM Documenting Ukraine project. It is an archive that revisits the conventions of war storytelling by collecting the war’s quotidian sides as experienced by Ukrainian artists. Structured around two entwined chapters, trivialand visceral, the display addresses the practices that have been honed in the struggle to endure within the constraints of daily life in Ukraine.

The first chapter illuminates the unsettling transfiguration of warfare into the mundane, as objects that were formerly routine tokens take on new meaning in a fragile equilibrium. Undermining the normalization of war, it introduces multi-temporal, interior artistic narration that registers the split in linearity as a locus of confounded subjectivity. The war trivia serve to interrogate what it means to contain the war on different scales, from corporeality to interstate exchanges. Beneath the triviality, the exhibition reveals what has been lost in settings where language deteriorates; instead, what has been seen and felt is conveyed through subtle gestures, unobtrusive inscriptions, and secluded incidents. 

The exhibition includes artwork from:

Inga Levi
Yevgen Samborsky
Sasha Kurmaz
Roman Khimei and Yarema Malaschuk
Sofiia Homin
Anastasia Vlasova
Serhii Korovaynyy
Mykhaylo Palinchak
Roman Pashkovskyi
Andriy Rachynskyi
Svitlana Oslavska and Anna Ilchenko 
Ukraїner (Artem Halkin)

The opening event was hosted by IWM Executive Director Katharina Hasewend and Mariia Shynkarenko, Research Associate in the IWM Program - Ukraine in European Dialogue.


The exhibition is organized by Documenting Ukraine project at the IWM and Bildrecht and is part of the program partnership FOTO WIEN.