Exhibitions 2024: Zinaida: Transformation

Exhibitions 2024: Zinaida: Transformation
Zinaida: Transformation

CVPA Campus Gallery, 285 Old Westport Road in Dartmouth, MA 02747 | All events are free and open to the public.

Image © Zinaida. Dakini II: Chorus, 2017. Courtesy of artist and Sapar Contemporary
© Zinaida: The Wedding crown, 2019, Courtesy of artist and SAPAR Contemporary

UMass Dartmouth CVPA Campus Gallery is proud to present Transformation, an exhibition by Ukraine-based artist Zinaida in the CVPA Campus Gallery through March 25, 2024. A reception is planned for Tuesday,  March 5, 5-7 pm at CVPA Campus Gallery at 285 Old Westport Road in Dartmouth, MA 02747 with an artist talk at 5 pm, during which Zinaida will call in from Kyiv via Zoom for a conversation with Nina Levent, Ph.D., Founding Director of Sapar Contemporary Gallery+Incubator, and UMass Dartmouth Gallery Director Viera Levitt, who will both be present in person. UMass Dartmouth Music students Davon Fuentes (piano), Bronwyn Pearson (flute), Austin Packard (violin), and Kathryn McGann (bass clarinet) will perform a Ukrainian folk song arranged for this event, “Oy u Luzi Chevrona Kalyna” (“Oh, the Red Viburnum In the Meadow”). Light refreshments will be served.

The work, curated specifically for UMass Dartmouth, presents selections from the impressive body of video and photography work of this Ukrainian artist and activist. The exhibition is unified by its mesmerizing, meditative portrayal of universal femininity. The presence of women is literal and metaphorical here, informed by elements as diverse as Ukrainian and Slavic folklore, traditional culture, and Hinduism. In Zinaida’s videos, mythical imagery flows in slow, deliberate movements and is often accompanied by eerie music, touching on symbolism, ancient rituals, and the passage to another world. Zinaida portrays the transformation or cycle of life, where a woman is a vessel, carrier of new life. "Due to the ability to give life, the female energy is the basis of all things," the artist explains. 

The main large-scale video-projection, titled “Dakini,” was inspired by the artist's field research of material and spiritual culture in Western Ukraine. The artist describes her experience of the region: “This is a special land, where spiritual culture has always been not only a part of mystical experience, but the basis of existence." 

The exhibition’s curator, Viera Levitt, says that she is “thrilled to be able to present this work that is equally powerful and meditative, while pointing to the strong spiritual roots and determination of the region, especially now, as we embark on the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.” 

The CVPA Campus Gallery would like to thank SAPAR Contemporary Gallery + Incubator and Nina Levent for their generous support and collaboration on this project, as well as CVPA technicians Paula Erenberg Medeiros and Vincent Martin for printing the photographs for the exhibition.

Artist Website www.zinaida.art

About Zinaida

Zinaida is one of the most important artists working today in Ukraine. Stemming from extensive ethnographic research and close collaboration with indigenous communities, Zinaida’s practice revolves around the study of mythologies, national symbols, archaic imagery, and the role of women as carriers of sacred knowledge. Her research journeys in different regions in Ukraine aim to study and preserve cultural heritage. Zinaida leads volunteer initiatives and carries out philanthropic activities in Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. She additionally founded the ARTREHUB Volunteer Initiative and developed her Red Thread art methodology for children with special needs and autism disorders, as well as veterans and families affected by war.

"Zinaida is a national cultural figure for Ukraine. Over the last fifteen years, she has summarized, documented and interpreted contemporary Ukrainian society through her work. Zinaida’s works have become an important and seminal influence for all the contemporary Ukrainian artists." - Dallas Contemporary Executive Director Peter Doroshenko

Zinaida has been featured in solo exhibitions at Pinchuk Art Centre (2015, Kyiv, Ukraine), Black Bride projects at the 56th Venice Biennale, and Dakini at the 58th Venice Biennale. She participated in the Art Lima Contemporary Art Fair (Lima, Peru), Art Kyiv Contemporary International Forum of Contemporary Art, and GOGOLFEST Interdisciplinary Festival. She received her BA from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Fine Art and Art History, as well as a BA in Psychology from National University of Kyiv. She is a member of the Food of War International Community. In 2015, she was a project facilitator at Marina Abramovic - In Residence (Kaldor Public Art Project, Sydney, Australia).