1972—2022 / 1981—2022 / 1995—2022, 2023 - Autostrada Biennale

1972—2022 / 1981—2022 / 1995—2022, 2023

Artist: Open Group

Venue: Innovation and Training Park

In the past ten years, Open Group has been creating temporary galleries by simply drawing lines, floorplans, or sketches. Walls, borders, and floors have been established by trees, road signs, chalk, white paint, or rope. Those informal lines have shaped temporary edifices, artistic situations, and institutional wastelands, or simply served as invitations to various uncontrolled situations. In Prizren, Open Group has drawn their most tragic maps so far: three 1:1 floorplans of the museums destroyed, since 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result of the aggression, 1,189 cultural sites have been damaged, and 446 sites have been destroyed. Open Group invites visitors to enter the obliterated buildings of the National Museum of Literature (1972–2022), Kharkiv region; the Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum (1981–2022), Kyiv region; and the Okhtyrka Municipal Local History Museum (1995–2022), Sumy region. It is a memory walk amid the three buildings collapsing into each other, a poetic recreation of an ephemeral institutional functionality, where entrances and exits, walls and air, and past and present coincide. A visitor moves freely inside this big surface, where plans are combined with the stretched string, which recall the beginnings of construction, a forensic visit, or archaeological excavations on the ruins of destroyed heritage. It is also a phantom map in the form of a cry; a lament for the ruthlessness of (the) war where cultural archives suffer alongside people.

Open Group was created in Lviv in 2012 and its members today live in Wrocław, Lviv, and New York.

Text by Joanna Warsza

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