Caring for the Light: The Time We Have, The Time We Are, The Memory We Hold
From 6 January, an installation by Tetiana Bohuslavska entitled "Caring for the Light: The Time We Have, The Time We Are, The Memory We Hold" in which the artist addresses the current war in Ukraine will be on display at POLIN Museum.
- On 8 January at 4:30 PM we invite you to a meeting with Tetiana Bohuslavska and a guided tour of the installation.
- Language of the meeting will be Ukrainian with translation into Polish, admission is free.
Tetiana Bohuslavska about her installation:
"Getting acquainted with the Museum, its departments, collections, large-scale projects and the core exhibition turned out to be a special experience that can be characterized as temporal, and I single out/distinguish the following components.
The return of the sense of time, its longevity, duration. An overview of the core exhibition dedicated to the 1000-year history of Polish Jews, focusing on the history of another nation that has gone through many tragedies, making comparisons with Ukrainian history, the way the two histories intersect, provides an opportunity for keeping a certain distance. For me (as well as for many others), time seems to have stopped with the start of a full-scale war, and distancing yourself in order to be able to reflect on what is happening and express it by the means of art seems extremely complicated.
Thanks to the curatorial work and immersive technologies of the core exhibition, which encourage the viewers to deepen their knowledge, from time to time you lose the sense of your own age, you turn into a child who discovers new things for themselves. This is an important experience, which also brings back the awareness that we are the time itself, and combine the past, present and future.
The incredible work of the Museum employees and departments to preserve memory, both tangible and intangible, open access to a huge database of video interviews, testimonies and information, the trust of people and their contributions to the Museum collection—all this is a living organism of memory and culture which doesn’t stop to amaze us, and restores confidence in the victory of light and life over the machinery of death.
Last but not least, the impression of Rainer Mahlamäki's architectural design, which combines external austerity with an expression of vitality, will and freedom, together with a symbolic bridge of memory connecting the two parts of the Museum. Therefore, the works that will be presented at POLIN Museum have been inspired directly by the exploration and interaction with the Museum space and its features, they grew from a dialogue with this space – truly meaningful and interconnected. I single out three locations that have been chosen for the creation of the works, respectively, and their thematic titles-codes - 'The Time We Have', 'The Time We Are', 'The Memory We Hold'.
'The Time We Have' - the work created in a separate glass cube, will turn into a space for reflecting on time, on the consequences of the war and on dialogue. In particular, I want to bring different periods of time together in one space—the past five months (July-November) when I was staying in Kyiv during a full-scale war, a month (December) in Warsaw, texts by Deborah Vogel, Zygmunt Bauman, 1930 and 2011, respectively. Ultimately, I want to create a space where people can talk about what's important, about their experience of the war, and all this can only serve as a point of departure of sorts, a point of trust and openness.
'The Time We Are' is a site-specific installation, the implementation of which is largely inspired by the Museum space.
'The Memory We Keep' is dedicated to the memory of Ukrainians who died as a result of the Russian attacks.
'Caring for the Light' is the title that brings together all the three works for me. Ukraine is currently going through a very difficult winter period—Russia continues to kill the civilians and destroy the energy system, all the services are constantly working to restore it, people are left with no heat, electricity or water in the middle of winter. Therefore, this title encapsulates both literal and metaphorical meanings - we should care for the light, we have to preserve it in ourselves despite everything, this is a great responsibility and task."
Tetiana Bohuslavska is an artist and poet born in 1990 in Kyiv. She graduated in psychology from the Dragomanov State Pedagogical University. She works in the fields of photography, video, performance, painting, installation and mixed media. Her projects deal with feminist issues, psychological well-being including war-inflicted trauma, and ecology.
Bohuslavska is the second artist-in-residence within the Thinking Through the Museum (TTTM) program. The residency’s special edition is addressed to Ukrainian artists and was designed by the National Heritage & Traumatic Memory research cluster in response to the war in Ukraine. In Poland, the artists are hosted by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw, and by the FestivALT in Kraków.
Read more about Tetiana Bohuslavska's residency and "Thinking Through the Museum" program