Inner Landscapes

"Office Ukraine" in the windows of ERSTE Foundation





The exhibition {Inner Landscapes} has brought together Ukrainian artists working in different media, diverse formats and living in disparate places.

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine forced countless people from their homes, necessitating decisions on where and how to live. Many artists found refuge in other countries. “Office Ukraine. Shelter for Ukrainian Artists” has helped them find their place in Austria.

Many artists have been forced to lead a nomadic life, constantly searching for their next “home”. The works presented here are the result of the artists being asked to reflect upon liminal spaces and the uncertain state of existence many Ukrainians now find themselves in.

ERSTE Foundation’s window gallery overlooks a busy thoroughfare that links the city centre with its outskirts. It is near the main train station, the place many people find themselves when they first arrive in the city.

Lilia Petrova, A bird in Tsyrkuny, ink on paper, 2022

The work of the artists presented here connects times and places which, at first glance, have little in common: towns and villages of Ukraine with the streets of Vienna, screenshots on a smartphone with imaginary worlds, the inner state of human beings with everyday surroundings.

The artists bear witness. How has their perception of the new reality changed? What did they see through the window and want to capture? What would they hope to see and what do they dream about? What do we, as viewers, see?

This presentation aims to show the liminal spaces and landscapes that are difficult to capture due to their fleetingness and their non-integration into the logic of monumentality. They lie between the external and the internal, the urban and the private, and the digital and the analogue.

About “Office Ukraine. Shelter for Ukrainian Artists”

ERSTE Foundation’s long-term partner was instrumental in the realisation of the initiative “Office Ukraine. Shelter for Ukrainian Artists” in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport, < rotor > in Graz and Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen in Innsbruck.

The initiative was founded in early 2022 only a few days after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Office Ukraine” is trans-disciplinary and has been set up for Ukrainian artists and those working in the cultural sector fleeing war and seeking shelter in Austria. It serves as a liaison for them to the Austrian art scene, connecting them to residencies, galleries, museums, off-spaces, design studios, film organisations, literature and music venues, funds and more.

The exhibition at the windows gallery of ERSTE Foundation at Erste Campus runs until 27 April 2023 and is on display 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Cover picture: Taras Kovach, Vinogradar, etching, 2013

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.