Photos by Dmitrij Leltschuk ©
A group exhibition of belarusian artists shows the St.-Marien-Kirche in Lübeck from Friday, November 20, 2020, to Sunday, November 22, 2020. In cooperation with the belarusian diaspora Hamburg Razam, positions of 16 belarusian artists are presented here. The exhibition is a reaction to the documentation of Belarusian protest art in the main church St. Marien in Rostock.
In October 2020, the main Protestant-Lutheran church of Rostock, St. Mary's Church, documented the protest art of the Belarusian artists. The exhibition in the three-aisled basilica was a stirring experience, especially for the artists themselves. Opposite the grey olive high altar with its two-storey baroque building, paintings and photographs were on display for the first time, showing a snapshot of the Belarusian opposition, including Svyatlana Zichanouskaya - presidential candidate in exile, Maria Kolesnikova - opposition leader in prison, Svetlana Alexievich - Nobel Prize winner in exile...
All characters were immersed in the white-red colors of the nation, which has been trying to rise like a phoenix for months. The author of the white-red flag - Klaudsij Dusch-Duscheuski - once hid Jews at home and was deported to the concentration camp KZ Auen in return. Today, the regime of this flag has declared war and is in the process of oppressing all people who have even the slightest hint of symbolic colors. In the works in the exhibition, however, these colors have found their way out, but still hover like the sword of Damocles above the artists' heads. After all, this exhibition alone is enough to torture the artists in Belarus. The reminiscences of the degenerate art become clear.
On August 9, an ethnopsychological phenomenon occurred. Belarusians all over the world felt metaphysical pain, which led to the unification and consolidation of the Belarusian people. On that day, the regime announced its election victory on the basis of an unprovable 80% of votes and responded to peaceful protests with stun grenades, rubber bullets and in some cases live ammunition. In the following days, thousands of citizens were arrested in the detention camp, tortured and raped with rubber sticks. Since then, the violent repressive attacks on the civilian population have increased, and the regime is fighting all approaches of oppositional thinking with inhuman means. Censorship, dismissals, expulsions, arrests and even kidnappings of opposition citizens are increasingly shaking the country.
These events have led to a reassessment of the ethnic self-identification of Belarusians around the world. Belarusians began to reassess their own essence, their role in understanding history and in the formation of the "New Belarus", including the awareness of their right to free and independent existence and to the creation of an original ethnic culture, including contemporary visual arts. The social and cultural core of this movement has become the mentality that allows ethnophiles to perceive reality in a similar way, to evaluate it and to act creatively, by perceiving the thesis of the determining role of national consciousness in the self-education of the nation and connecting it with the Belarusian artistic modernity.
Now the Belarusian Diaspora Hamburg Razam dares to take another step and present a new exposition "New Belarus Art" in the church St. Marien Lübeck. With this Hamburg Razam wants to meet its claim to show positions of 16 Belarusian artists, which are particularly current, particularly urgent and very close. The artists exhibit works that create more than a connection of current snapshots. By reflecting on their essence of new self-identification and their experience with the metaphysics of the ethnopsychological phenomenon, artists have created contemporary works that have the potential to make a special contribution to the modern art by continuing the traditions of Belarusian artists like Marc Chagall and Chaim Soutine.
The exhibition can be visited on Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 10 to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Church of St. Mary. There will also be a livestream on Friday, November 20, 2020, from 4 to 5 p.m. on the Instagram Channel of the church and a broadcast on the Open Channel Lübeck and via livestream on Saturday, November 21, 2020, from 11 to 12 a.m.