Orient Station 2018

This year’s Orient Station focuses on the presentation of photography, contemporary art, design and urban culture from Ukraine

Programme 2018: 

Nearly every Ukrainian city has its mosaic, relief or stained glass created by Soviet artists in the years 1960-1980. Created as public space decorations, they remain little known because the inhabitants never acknowledged their artistic value. Soviet monumental art was a failure – it failed to enchant the viewer both in the times of USSR and after Ukraine regained independence. Its works were treated as state ordered propaganda that wasn’t worth any attention. The paradox is that the USSR never created public space per se because there were no basic freedoms that are the foundations of such spaces – the freedom of gatherings, speech, protest. Instead, the country imitated the public space, presenting only selected commissioned symbols and paintings, completely disregarding the needs of the society. Ukraine inherited this tendency in a significant degree. After the fall of the USSR, newly independent countries gained vital civic freedoms but only so that public spaces could fall into the hands of private buyers and lose any chances of becoming public platforms.

Since 2013, as part of his project, Yevgen Nikiforov has been visiting all regions of Ukraine to photograph all local examples of monumental art and record their history. He wants to show them as free from the obtrusive traces of post-Soviet cities which never really picked themselves up after the wave of enthusiastic capitalism. Many works are slightly over 50 years old but they look like archeological relics coated with a layer of recent occupation. Soviet monumental art, deprived of ideological context and lost in contemporary aesthetics, has become a background as commonplace as air and just as invisible.
28 June – 1 July | 11:00-19:00 |“Gardzienice” Gallery, Grodzka 5a

“Yellow&Blue” presents interesting and bright Ukraine. Through the visual language of posters we show traditions, locations and features that aren’t easily found in guide books.  Residential areas, crowded beaches, public transport, traditional music instruments, the Carpathians, local fast foods and feasts – all the things we consider most interesting.  We’ve tried to present a different perspective on historical events, social and cultural phenomena that are well known to Ukrainians but frequently unfamiliar to foreigners.  In this way, the project is creating a modern and ironic image of Ukraine.

The project began in 2016. Now, it includes 30 posters created by 15 illustrators.

Pictoric Illustrators Club is a community of Ukrainian illustrators, artists and graphic designers, each distinguished by their own unique style in line with the latest trends in graphic arts. The club creates international projects involving talented artists from various countries to promote high-quality contemporary illustration in Ukraine and abroad.
28 June – 1 July 2018 | 11:00-19:00 | Workshops of Culture, Grodzka 7 – ground floor

Dmitri Ivanovich Yermakov (1846-1916) was a Russian photographer considered the pioneer of ethnographic photography. After graduating in topographical studies from the military academy in Tbilisi, in 1886 he took up photography. During the Russo-Turkey war (1877-1878) he served as a war correspondent. He started his photography business in 1882-1883 by opening his own photography studio in Tbilisi. His main theme was street life in Georgian cities. His photographs presenting local crafts, bazaars and cityscapes offer a vivid portrayal of life in 19th century Caucasus. Yermakov travelled a lot. One of his first journeys was a tour to Constantinople, where he focused on photographing architecture and city life. In subsequent years, he continued to travel around the Caucasus and the neighbourhood, visiting Armenia, Azerbaijan and Persia (Iran)

The exhibition “Street life – 19th century Georgia in Dmitri Yermakov’s photography” showcases a part of the photographer’s archive owned by the Georgian National Museum. Particularly interesting are photos focusing on Tbilisi which had always been the object of the photographer’s creativity. Yermakov’s collection is of particular historical and documentary value and it is also highly artistic. While photographing the monuments, Yermakov tried to show the character of the place not just to capture it but to impress those who would like to visit it. His rich archives are some of the few photography archives from this period and contain 25819 prints, 12536 glass negatives and 119 albums.
28 June – 1 July 2018 | outdoor exhibition available at all times | The Hartwig Alley