New York – The Cooper Union in collaboration with Yara Arts Group will present the exhibit “A Revolution in Orange” photographs by Alexander Khantaev from the 17 day nonviolent struggle for democracy in Ukraine.
The exhibit opens Monday, February 28 and runs through Thursday, March 11, 2005 at the Humanities Gallery of the Engineering Building of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in New York City. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The photographs in the show depict a spontaneous citizens’ revolt against a fraudulent election and corrupt government that ended in victory. Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution,” is vividly depicted in a series of photographs that capture the drama and the spirit of this remarkable moment in recent history. Alexander Khantaev photographs reflect the changing moods of the crowds protesting in the main square in Kyiv throughout November and December, 2004. He had come to Kyiv to work with Yara Arts Group, a resident company at New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theatre, which was rehearsing a new theatre production just outside Kyiv’s Independence Square. Photographer Margaret Morton, who has worked with Yara and teaches at Cooper Union, chose the photographs in the exhibit and helped arrange the show.
Alexander Khantaev is Buryat, an indigenous people of Siberia. He was born in Irkutsk and studied at the East Siberian Institute and the University of Irkutsk. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications in Ulan Ude, Buryatia, as well as in Moscow, Kyiv and New York. His work has been exhibited in Ulan Ude, Kyiv, New York, Aga Buryat Autonomous Region, Saratoga Springs and Indiana University.
Mr. Khantaev’s first individual exhibit featured photographs from a Buryat shaman ritual, which later formed the core of the book Shanar: Dedication Ritual of a Buryat Shaman written by Virlana Tkacz with Sayan Zhambalov and Wanda Phipps. The book was awarded the Ben Franklin Prize and the photographs from this book were show in Kyiv at RA Gallery and the Khanenko Museum of East and West Art, as well as at La MaMa Galleria, Tibet House and the New York Public Library in New York. Other exhibits by Mr. Khantaev featured photographs he took during research trips with the Yara Arts Group to Buryat villages in Eastern Mongolia and Northern China.
His most recent exhibit “Koliada: Winter Rituals in the Carpathian Mountains,” was shown at La MaMa Gallery in January, and had previously been shown at the RA Gallery in Kyiv and the Cultural Center of the village of Kryvorivnia, where most of the photographs were taken. In January 2003 Alexander Khantaev had traveled to Kryvorivnia with Virlana Tkacz, director of Yara Arts Group. For two weeks they documented the Koliada, an ancient winter ritual that is now celebrated around Christmas, but has its roots in pre-Christian times. These rituals inspired Ms Tkacz to create an original theatre piece, also named Koliada, which is now being rehearsed at La MaMa with Yara artists Yara, as well as several koliadnyky, or winter song singers from Kryvorivnia. The show performs March 4 to 20, 2005 at La MaMa Experimental Theatre. For more information visit www.brama.com/yara The exhibit “A Revolution in Orange” photographs by Alexander Khantaev runs Monday, February 28- Thursday, March 10, 2005. Hours: 11-7 Weekdays, 11-5 Saturdays, closed Sundays. The Cooper Union, Humanities Gallery, 51 Astor Place, 1st Floor, 8th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues, New York.