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Garden after the Gods

The "Garden after the Gods" project took place on August 21-22 at the JUMP Contemporary Art Center and the Poltava Gravimetric Observatory.


Curators: Nikita Kadan, Anton Usanov


Participants: Kateryna Lysovenko, Antigonna, Lada Nakonechna, Alina Kleitman, Yuriy Leiderman, Leo Trotsenko, Anatoly Belov, Vova Vorotnyov, Vlada Ralko, Yulia Strauss, Yaroslav Futimskyi, Luka Basov, Anastasia Potemkina, Nikita Kadan, Kateryna Turenko/Dana Kavelina , Bram Van Meervelde, Viktor Babenko, Lolya Efremova, Anton Shebetko, Vladyslav Plysetskyi.

The project "Garden after the Gods" is connected with a certain place - a garden on the territory of the current Poltava Gravimetric Observatory, which was in 1907-1915 the space for the activities of the self-named artistic and philosophical society "Garden of the Gods". The existence of the "Garden of the Gods" in Poltava, its subsequent oblivion and restoration of memory about it are connected with a number of problems of art history.

"Property division" between national history and imperial history. Contradiction between art dissolved in life practice and art related to the creation of individual works. The death of the romantic-conservative cultural canon and the issue of disposal or alternative use of its elements. The legacy of "right-wing modernism" and left-wing critical optics. Emancipation policies and the search for "our antiquity" as a universal support.

The exhibition was held in the space of the JUMP Contemporary Art Center and in the garden itself, which was once located in Pavlenki near Poltava and where participants and participants of the "Garden of the Gods" were engaged in painting and arranged nude photo sessions on ancient subjects. Recently discovered photographs of ancient "living paintings" were shown for the first time in the JUMP Contemporary Art Center, and in the garden - works by contemporary artists, in which ancient motifs were viewed through the cultural and political optics of today.

Also, the preparation of the project coincided with the celebration of the 140th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Myasoedov.


Graphic design: Shaza Musa

Photo: Polina Polikarpova

Links to materials about the project from Svitlana Libet can be found here and from Anastasia Kalita - here.


The project was made possible with the support of the JUMP Contemporary Art  Centre.

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