In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own, properties or behaviors which emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole.
Catinca Tabacaru Gallery is proud to announce State of Emergence, an exhibition curated by Lesia Kulchynska to highlight 13 contemporary Ukrainian artists working now; 8 of whom are currently living inside of Ukraine, while 5 have been displaced across Europe since the early days of the Russian attack on February 24th, 2022.
Ukraine is now in a state of emergency, which means a situation of extreme danger, where ordinary daily life is no longer possible and the rules that regulated it are no longer valid.
The casual path of life is broken. Nothing is predictable, nothing is stable, nothing is guaranteed. Within such emergency life is no longer an inalienable right, it is a privilege, a miracle. Human ties are no longer a matter of comfort, it is a circulatory system that keeps us alive. Love is no longer a matter of choice, it is a duty. While reality is collapsing, creation is the law of survival. Every new day of this war we must draw new paths to replace destroyed ones, and find new fulcrums instead of those that have been crushed or lost. Every new day of this war we must imagine a new future and a new present instead of this shattered one.
Let's believe in the law of conservation of energy. Everything that has been violently wiped out evolves into something new, unexpectedly beautiful, unconditionally powerful. Let's notice that out of the debris of devastated order, new fragile constellations are relentlessly emerging. They need to be nourished and protected.
With this exhibition, produced amidst the state of emergency, we want you to feel the overtones of a novel emergence. We want you to see Ukraine for the place where, within the cracks of a smashed reality, grow the precious sprouts of the new world. Despite the horrors of war, artistic life in Ukraine flourishes with new initiatives, ideas, and practices of solidarity. In the midst of grave concern over the preservation of Ukrainian cultural heritage, Catinca Tabacaru and Lesia Kulchynska focus on the emerging artist community.
State of Emergence marks the first contemporary exhibition of its kind, but hopes it is but a beginning as artists emerge to declare their resilience through their work.