Five Elements of War
@ Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
2320 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Opening Friday, August 18th, from 7:30PM - 9PM
On view through Monday, September 18th
Opening Reception: Friday August 18, 7:30pm
Doors open at 6
Ukrainian artists Daria Marchenko and Daniel Green are outspoken protesters of the military aggression and the tumult that has taken over the eastern regions of their native Ukraine. Following the rich history of protest art, their illustrative series of works, titled Five Elements of War, depicts the causes, turmoil and consequences of the war.
The installation is multi-sensory, meant to elicit a visceral reaction in the viewer. Each of the five works speaks to a different aspect of the war. The Heart of War makes reference to the raw materials necessary for military intervention, while The Flesh of War symbolizes the relationship between oppressor and the oppressed. The Eye of War addresses the spectatorship of the war by the rest of the world and the failure of the world’s powers to intervene. The Brain of War underscores the role of propaganda. The Face of War, which depicts the prominent figure from the conflict, is unapologetic in its straightforwardness. Depending on the light, the mood of the piece changes; the face displays a wide spectrum of emotions, emphasizing the complexities of the conflict, as well as the human nature of war.
While their work is clearly political, most compelling is its material nature. Marchenko incorporates found objects, including shell casings, documents, and shrapnel, all from the front lines. The tactile quality of her work allows Marchenko to concretize the war, bridging the divide between the viewer and the reality of Eastern Ukraine. These material reminders of combat memorialize the conflict, and those who have lost their lives to the war.
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