In Pictures: See a Curator’s Harrowing Journey From War-Torn Kyiv to Venice to Install the Art for Ukraine’s National Pavilion
Artist Pavlo Makov's installation has now safely arrived to the Venice Biennale.
On February 24, the day Russia attacked Ukraine, Maria Lanko, a co-owner of the Naked Room Gallery in Kyiv, woke up to the sounds of explosions. It was a shock, but not a surprise for Lanko and her community.
Her car had a full tank of gas. Inside the trunk were three boxes filled with bronze funnels, the main components of the installation Fountain of Exhaustion by artist Pavlo Makov, who will represent Ukraine at its national pavilion at the upcoming Venice Biennale.
Lanko, a co-curator of the pavilion, understood that, whatever happened, “I could just take them to Venice, and anyway we will be present there even if it was a symbolic presence,” she said at the Talking Galleries New York conference last week. “At least there will be a part of the work that’s the core of it.”
That night, Lanko hit the road and drove west.
Her journey took three weeks, during which unimaginable things happened back home. “February 24 is the end of history,” she said. “The end of the end of history. We started a new calendar that day.” On the 21st day of the new calendar, Lanko arrived in Venice, soon reuniting with Markov. His installation would become a reality after all—for the first time and almost three decades after its conception, in 1994.
The fountain is a kinetic sculpture consisting of 78 bronze funnels, arranged in the form of a pyramid. The water poured into the top funnel divides into two streams, feeding the funnels below. “Only a few drops reach the bottom, symbolizing exhaustion on a personal and global level,” the curators said in a press release.
Below are the images of the project and Lanko’s journey from Kyiv to Venice.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.