The “Multiple Realities of War” in Ukraine are being explored in a new photography exhibition at MFA Boston

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The "Multiple Realities of War" in Ukraine are being explored in a new photography exhibition at MFA Boston

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Wednesday, February 01, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The same sky is used as a metaphor in a new show of Ukrainian war photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston, turning it into a call to action.

  • Who Holds Up the Sky?

  • The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be displayed from January 21 to May 21, 2023.

  • A movie describing the “Behind Blue Eyes” project, a philanthropic initiative that gives Ukrainian children disposable cameras, completes the programme.

  • The Who’s song of the same name served as the inspiration for the project’s moniker.

The sky over Ukraine has been scarred much too frequently over the past 11 months by gunfire, shelling, and explosives. The same sky is used as a metaphor in a new show of Ukrainian war photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston, turning it into a call to action.

The exhibition, titled “Who Holds Up the Sky?” was put together by three curators from the Wartime Art Archive at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) NGO in Kyiv and brought to the United States in partnership with the MFA. It compiles the artwork produced by Ukrainian artists since Russia’s invasion in February of last year when the war began.

Three MOCA NGO curators—Halyna Hleba, Olga Balashova, and Tetiana Lysun—wrote in the exhibition’s wall text that photography “captures the different realities of conflict, overcoming the darkness of murder, bombardment, genocide, and blackouts.” They stated that “everyone holding up the sky over Ukraine” was the inspiration behind the show.

Who Holds Up the Sky? The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be displayed from January 21 to May 21, 2023. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Photographer Vadym Belikov captured images of Russian missile launches from the window of his high-rise building. War correspondent Efrem Lukatsky photographed the devastation caused by identical missiles on Ukrainian farms. Both photos are on display.

Several images from Yana Kononova’s X-Scapes series depict the physical devastation in Kyiv’s northern regions—twisted sheet metal, cratered dwelling structures—but are each cropped to the point of abstraction, punctuating the works of those two artists. Direct signs of conflict are gone. Therefore, the emotional anguish of the destruction is intensified.

Illustrations from Inga Levi’s continuing Double Exposure series, which she started just days after Russia’s unprovoked invasion, are displayed on the walls of the MFA gallery’s pillars. Each piece in the collection portrays two realities: one of conflict and one of normal life in Ukraine.

Bird’s eye view of a hole made by aRussian rocket that struck a farm area 10 kilometres from the front line by Efrem Lukatsky. Farmers in the area carry on harvesting despite shelling (2022). Thanks to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

A movie describing the “Behind Blue Eyes” project, a philanthropic initiative that gives Ukrainian children disposable cameras, completes the programme. While carrying their cameras, they are instructed to document their daily activities for a week. As stated in the description of the view, the intention is to present a “coherent and complicated footprint of the war” from the viewpoint of individuals whose lives will be affected indefinitely.

The Who’s song of the same name served as the inspiration for the project’s moniker. The curators propose that the blue in the title also refers to the sky, perhaps serving as a reminder that, despite how it may appear to us individually, we are all connected by the sky above us.

Below are additional pictures from “Who Holds Up the Sky?”

Who Holds Up the Sky? The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be on display from January 21 to May 21, 2023. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Kostiantyn soldiers from Ukraine and Polishchuk (2022). Kostiantyn Polishchuk Thanks to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Who Holds Up the Sky? The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be displayed from January 21 to May 21, 2023. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

X-Scapes #63-17, Yana Kononova (2022). Thanks to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Who Holds Up the Sky? The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be displayed from January 21 to May 21, 2023. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

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