30 September 2022 – 8 January 2023
With the exception of a few large museums in Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa, all of Ukraine’s museums are closed. The Russian invasion has put cultural activities on hold. Mirroring a dystopian science fiction film, museums across Ukraine are in cultural hibernation: staff work from home, artworks have been wrapped and stored, windows are boarded up. Once active and vibrant galleries sit in dark silence.
Impact Damage, meaning visible physical damage or destruction, recreates a shuttered museum somewhere in Ukraine. The galleries are filled with the museum’s collection, from paintings and sculptures to embroidered garments and historic ceramic objects. Yet there are no lights to fully navigate the exhibition; the galleries are dark and dismal. The only light comes from three large video projections by the Kyiv-based film collective Babylon’13. The collective consists of 100 activist filmmakers, photography directors, sound engineers, producers, and editors. The group has been working together since November 2013, and is now creating short narrative films about the current war. Their stories reflect the drama and tragedy across the country and the charged moments outside the walls of a museum in any city. This exhibition is intended to parallel and create emotional connections to what cultural institutions in Ukraine are experiencing on a daily basis.