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production dates

Venice, Italy
Ukrainian Pavilion
Chiesa di San Fantin and Campo San Stae
4 June - 27 November 2011

The installation of Oksana Mas by the title Post-vs-Proto-Renaissance - curated by Achille Bonito Oliva and Oleksiy Rogotchenko - presented at the Biennale di Venezia at the Ukrainian Pavilion in the Church of San Fantin, is the section of a monumental artwork 134 meters long and 92 meters high composed of 3.640.000 wooden eggs. The iconographic reference is the work of the Van Eyck brothers, proto-Renaissance artists who painted The gardens of paradise, for a renowned altarpiece in the Flemish city of Ghent. The eggs form a veritable architecture whose structure evokes a mosaic in which the eggs' iconographic tattoos constitute the single elements. Ancient and modern art merge into an image embracing stories of sins and dreams of redemption, hope in the future and a yearning for purity. Inside the Church of San Fantin, the installation ideally interacts with the sacredness of its surroundings: depending on the distance, the work breaks down as if it were a digital file of egg-pixels, each one representing the dramatic destiny of mankind. Contemplating the work of Oksana Mas is a form of initiation into a new life, a full life.
Art is the attempt to alleviate a bereavement, the loss of completeness and the descent into an incomplete and fragmentary world. In this regard, creation becomes a development and healing process of the artist who uses form as the crystal-clear evidence of a newfound wholeness. The sphere is the emblem of a circularity that flows and brings together, as shown in the history of art, which has always combined reason with instinct, rationality with spirituality ever since the Middle Ages.
For several years now, Oksana Mas has been working on reclaiming the sphere as a geometric shape holding within itself a principle of universal oneness. The artist starts from the Ukrainian krashenki folk custom: wooden eggs covered in traditional Ukrainian decorations celebrating Easter. In order to realize this grand installation, the artist had thousands of people paint the eggs, incarnation of the sphere: inmates, intellectuals and people from different walks of life from forty-two different countries. She then assembled the painted eggs in her own studio to reconstruct the Ghent altarpiece on a far larger scale. In addition to the one at the Pavilion at San Fantin, an open-air installation of the artist Oksana Mas will be on display at Campo San Stae for the entire duration of the Biennale.



Victor Sydorenko

Achille Bonito Oliva
Oleksiy Rogotchenko

Deputy Curators
Ute Kilter
Diana Fedorova-Pecherskaya

Development Engineer
Yuriy Mas
Light Design
A.J. Weissbard
Valentina Tescari
Stefano Scarani
Andrea Bianchi
Valeria Palermo

Exhibition produced by
Change Performing Arts

In collaboration with
Curia Patriarcale di Venezia
Ufficio Beni Culturali
Gianmatteo Caputo
Organization Office
Irene Galifi
Imago - Venezia
Luciana Pizzati