‘Alternative Dimensions’ NFT Collection - THE THREAD THAT BINDS US

Oct 25, 2022 5:55AM

Breezy is curating the ‘Alternative Dimensions’ NFT-Collection for the ArtTech platform V-Art and the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum. Each week we will present one of the museum's masterpieces involved in the project through articles dedicated to deepening the theme of the preservation of memory and its historical-artistic testimonies.

In this life, we are just passing through. Brief, shining glimmers destined to fade, bodies exposed to the inevitable corrosive action of time. In the cyclical alternation of the seasons, we are footprints on Earth: more or less visible traces in the memory of those who shared part of their journey with us. In rare cases, a virtuous life is remembered for generations, its story handed down, and its legacy becomes the heritage of humanity. In even more exceptional cases, souls of indescribable sensitivity and complexity, the artists, capture the fragilities of their own time or step into the depths of an uncertain future. The artists challenge the present time to reach into the future, often relying on material media and artistic techniques that are less persistent than their ideas. Yet our need to feel part of a larger design and not lonely, accidental souls makes a strong case for preserving memory, in all its manifestations, by seeking confrontation and dialogue with the past.

Do we still recognize ourselves in art history? Can we sustain a gaze and allow ourselves to look without shame? And to reach out to almost forgotten memories? Are we still able to embrace and allow ourselves to be embraced? Do we have sufficient respect for the earth we tread and all its invisible footprints?

Olena Kulchytska (1877-1967), Hutsul Mother, Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum

Few things have the power to make us feel protected and "at home" like a mother's hug. Leaving the maternal womb, we experience ourselves for the first time, in our individuality. To welcome this shocking revolution, a cry that is life, liberation, hunger, air in the lungs. Those who built that wonderful den that welcomed us and prepared for the jump respond to that cry of greeting to the world. It is an instinctive knowing and recognizing oneself, in which the most vulnerable entrusts himself to the care of the other, placing his own life into it.

In the embrace, you abandon yourself to listening to the beats that, from dissonant, line up to sing in unison. In that moment we are one, yet always distinct units; we are different, but still united. The hug is that thread that binds us.

Mother is the one who carried us in her womb, the one who welcomes us into their life, anyone who responds to the call of a lost child in the world, even sharing with him only a stretch of the road. Ukrainian artist Olena Kulchytska has heard countless voices and answered countless appeals in her nearly 30 years as an art teacher in Lviv secondary schools and Przemyśl girls' school. A sensitivity towards young people that also finds expression in artistic production, centered on oil paintings, watercolors and illustrations - in particular children's books - and which culminated, during the First World War, in the creation of a series that tells the suffering of civilian population, from which postcards distributed by the Ukrainian Women's Committee to help wounded soldiers stationed in Vienna are obtained. Works that in the harshness of the line and in the technical accuracy of the detail tell the horrors and difficulties of families torn apart by war, intertwining an indulgent style with a story full of melancholy: despite the war has removed it from the children who populated its classrooms, that sense of maternal protection has found new ways to manifest itself, giving voice, with her work, to the pain of all Ukrainian mothers.

But Olena Kulchytska is also a witness to the folklore and tradition of her people, as an attentive portrait painter of traditional costumes and clothing from all ethnographic areas of western Ukraine: from male and female garments, both winter and summer, to holidays and everyday life. . Not surprisingly, his passion and dedication were recognized when he entered the Ethnographic Department of the Shevchenko Museum of the Scientific Society in Lviv. Being a spokesperson for tradition is a further meaning of the concept of protection: thanks to this careful census work, an important part of the national identity of its time will continue to survive and will be handed down to future generations. As if to say that in diversity we rediscover our uniqueness, without the need to untie the common thread that binds us.

Preserving art is equivalent, as we have now learned, to protect the memory of what we have been in an embrace and to look after that memory to project ourselves into tomorrow.

Serena Nardoni, Art Historian and Editor