“The Fountain of Exhaustion” is sensitive to changes in the political, social, and cultural context. Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine affected the meaning of the project, expanding the area for its interpretation. Together with Past / Future / Art, a cultural memory platform, we are launching a series of publications trying to make sense of the new context around the project “Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta.”
Founded in 2019 by professor of philosophy Oksana Dovgopolova and cultural manager Kateryna Semenyuk, Past / Future / Art platform implements research and educational projects to attract a wide audience to work with the past. Inviting artists, curators, writers, philosophers, and theorists of commemoration, the platform offers a way to ask and jointly seek answers to historical questions through artistic practices.
The national pavilions at the Venice Biennale are representatives of their countries to the international community. Realizing this, we have been preparing to answer common questions about Ukraine, some of which arise out of interest, but some appear to be influenced by Russian propaganda. Our partners from the Past / Future / Art prepared an ABC for mediators of the Ukrainian pavilion on the history, Russian imperialism, and political system of Ukraine.
Resuming our reflections on the changes in the modern world, we are preparing essays on exhaustion written by historians, philosophers, and art critics, outlining the main trajectories of these changes. They problematize the post-war promise of "Never again," try to comprehend the stages of protracted parting with empires, question the principles of modern Europe, and emphasize the possibility to speak from the inside of historical events vulnerably and sensitively.