To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric
Theodor W. Adorno
The exhibition of the Belarusian art Before/After/2020. Belarus
is an artistic chronicle of dramatic events of the August 2020 that took place in Belarus after the presidential elections: it is an authentic display, sincere emotional background, truthful description of the events. The paintings, graphics and sculptures presented in this exposition comes with the reflection of the citizenship of the 10 Belarusian artists. They are united by the common pain, rage, powerlessness, fear, despair that they expressed in their art.
Life in their works has been divided to ‘before’ and ‘after’ the tragic events, just like the exhibition itself consists of two vectors, two planes. The ‘before’ period is represented by three paintings that resemble another life, form of a dream. It reflects peace, beauty, relaxation, but it suddenly ends when we see a dead bird as a clash between beauty and violence, beaten body of a woman, burned and charred corpses like in the gas chambers and faces crying out for freedom…
Each work portrays a person or his personification. Each piece expresses personal emotional experience of its creator. Artist, as a chronicler or a war correspondent, records what is happening by direct or indirect portrayal of the events. He presents feelings and reaction in a form of art. There is no presentation of oneself; it is a collective grief, where the despair of the whole nation is put up front in the dramatic narrative. It is a polyphony of images, where every voice becomes a part of a resounding chord.
Ksyeniya Zhukowskaya, original author and curator of the exhibit