Gallery On the Go
Through Gallery-on-the-Go, America House “decentralizes” art exposure by sharing its permanent art collection with a wide range of art enthusiasts at the 27 Window on America Centers in regional cities throughout Ukraine.
Currently, America House has these shows touring Ukraine:
The purpose of this project was to reconnect with home. As a diplomat, Ewan MacDougall represents his home, the United States, by living far from it. Built into our overseas postings are periods of “Home Leave,” where the only requirement is that we spend a minimum of a full month in the United States to reacquaint. These photographs were taken in 2017 during a long home leave in between two overseas postings. During five years living abroad from 2012-2017, the impressions of America Ewan received from foreign news and social media seemed dissonant with his own personal understanding of the country he’d grown up in. These fragments formed shallow caricatures behind which it was easy to discern various types of bias: media – in some countries state-controlled and -censored, in some cases populist or just parochial – peddled a narrow range of themes that cast a thin, pale portrayal of his homeland.
These outlets seemed intent on reducing the entire country to a few divisive issues, a process Ewan saw reflected in countless student groups “studying” America and op-ed pages purporting to explain it. A handful of issues dominated: battles over gun rights, illegal immigration, religion, foreign wars, blue states vs red states, identity politics, and so on.
By early 2017, even many American media outlets, when they were at their most candid, confessed to focusing so narrowly in their reporting, that they had overlooked major trends. So Ewan returned to America to see it again for himself. From Venice Beach to Montauk; from mountain top to canyon floor; from city to desert; from red state to blue, he tried to see, meet, and learn as many different Americas as time would allow.
This exhibit shows some of the highlights. There were plenty of lowlights, too, and they were often more instructive, if less photogenic. This selection captures cityscapes (the accretions of civilization over centuries) and landscapes (the accretions of geology over millennia) that reminded him: beyond the flittering headlines and social fads lay a more deeply rooted, enduring understanding of America. It reminded him that uncritical acceptance of anything you see/read/hear is the road to misunderstanding and manipulation. And, just as with these photographs of iconic scenes, it reminded him that often the decision about what’s not presented is most revealing.
WOMEN. EQUALITY. POLITICS.
2018 marked the 5th year of the International Contest “Stop Censorship! Citizens for Free Countries.” The Contest has a democratic approach — anyone regardless of age, citizenship or education can participate, and all artistic media are welcome. This Contest is designed to foster discussions on freedom of speech, access to public information, and fighting censorship.
The exhibition is comprised of chosen works (images) by Ukrainian and foreign authors dedicated to this year’s Contest theme “Women.Equality.Politics.” Overall, more than 600 works were submitted to the Contest by authors from 19 countries, including Iran, Ecuador, Poland, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, China, and others. All works submitted for the “Stop Censorship! Citizens for free countries” Contest are available at www.stop-censorship.net.
WHERE THE RIVERS COME TOGETHER
Mykolaiv, Ukraine, a former secret shipbuilding center in Southern Ukraine, is dominated by people of Ukrainian and Russian origin. But the city’s spirit and public life are also defined by as many as 133 smaller national communities whose influence extends well beyond their actual numbers, creating an unmistakable flair of diversity in the city’s language, culture, and cuisine. Some came for jobs, others to escape violence or oppression in their homelands. At a time when Ukraine and so many parts of the globe are enmeshed in war and conflict, these communities have lived together peacefully for generations.
Artists Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac, supported by a Fulbright grant from the U.S. government, are documenting Mykolaiv’s diversity over the course of nine months. During that time, they met with more than 20 national communities, hearing their stories and documenting their findings in a photographic project that draws on both documentary and fine art traditions. The project, created collaboratively with the participants, is presented as diptychs, pairing a portrait of an individual with an object or place that is especially important to their heritage. The artists have also written an article that explores Ukraine’s unique blend of cultures and whether peaceful coexistence in Mykolaiv contains lessons for the rest of the world.
In the words of an Azerbaijani man who lives in Mykolaiv, “Politics makes divisions, but that is not the way that people relate on a daily basis.” As an intractable conflict continues in Eastern Ukraine and wars persist around the globe, the very personal, face to face approach of Mykolaiv residents to cooperation suggests a useful path for maintaining peace and friendship. However, more and more community leaders are turning to electronic media as their means of engagement, raising important questions about whether civility can be maintained.
Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac
Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac are artists and documentary storytellers who have collaborated extensively on projects designed to bridge the gap between fine art and documentary practices, including extensive work on the impact of incarceration, the environmental degradation of our waterways, and diversity. Their commitment to these issues is fed by a passion to expand awareness and engender meaningful policy changes. Currently, the two are pursuing several long-term photography and video projects in Ukraine as recipients of a Fulbright grant.
The “Discernment” exhibit by young American multimedia artist Bayete Ross Smith scrutinizes preconceived notions and stereotypes, explores identity problems and challenges of intercultural communication. Artworks analyze public relations and motivate us to reflect on how we perceive the world around us.
Bayeté Ross Smith is an artist, photographer, multimedia artist and filmmaker from Harlem, N.Y. He began his career as a photojournalist with the Knight Ridder newspaper corporation. Bayeté is a TED Resident, part of residency class three. He has worked as a multi media artist and producer for The NY Times and POV. As an artist he has exhibited his work internationally with the Smithsonian Institution, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brooklyn Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the Schomburg Center, the Unseen Photo Festival (Amsterdam), Goethe-Institute (Ghana) and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), to name a few. His collaborative projects "Along The Way" and "Question Bridge: Black Males" were showcased at the Sundance Film Festival among other festivals. His accolades include a TED Residency, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for New Media and a Jerome Foundation fellowship. He is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and New York University and associate program director of the nonprofit Kings Against Violence Initiative, a hospital and school based non-profit violence prevention organization, based in Brooklyn, NY.
REBIRTH OF THE GLOSSY MAGAZINE
The Informational Revolution made mass media accessible to the general public. In addition to the Internet, television, and radio, print media outlets are also quite popular. Magazines are a source of news and knowledge in a wide variety of fields, including fashion, business, and household, and can serve as entertainment while waiting in the beauty salon, or on the plane. Many of us have magazine subscriptions, or just buy them in stores or find them in our mailboxes. Typically, magazines have more vivid pictures than just text, and they are quick to read. As a result—even though the information has lost its relevance—entire artistic collections are thrown out.
From the point of view of environmental sustainability, such collections should be recycled or given to charity. Among the non-standard approaches is using old magazines to create art. Bright colors, glossy paper, and sophisticated photographs have found a second life in the “Rebirth of the Glossy Magazine” project by Oleksandra Havrylyuk. "Some people create household items from used plastic, others give new life to old clothes, but I, as an artist, am interested in working with paper. My attention was drawn to the magazines that were gathered by all of my relatives and friends; this was more than enough material for my creative work. Over the years, I have created more than forty collages devoted to the issues of self-identification, the relationship of humanity with nature, and the urban environment and society."- Oleksandra.