The Bunker, Cernăuți

Photos by: Volodymyr Gutsul

The Bunker, Cernăuți

The Bunker represents the space of modern culture in Cernauti. The Bunker is located in the city centre in the basement of an old building, erected during the Habsburg Empire. Besides the basement, the cultural venue also includes a small isolated patio. The University of Medicine is currently located in this building. Access to the university is permitted only until 17:00. For this reason, one can only enter the patio through the Bunker’s back door.

Thus, the patio can be added to the exhibition space of the basement, as the perfect place for outdoor activities. Educational institutions occupy the whole neighbourhood around the Bunker, so concerts can be organized without the risk of upsetting the neighbours with the loud noise.

Leo Host Rauschen Band from Dresden performed at the opening of the Bunker on 11th December. I was aiming at an audience of 100 people, but we ended up with 400-500. The room was crammed. Other people were dancing on the pavement by the entrance. The pavement in this area is pretty wide. This is how the Bunker started to become famous, as a place for underground culture in Cernauti.

The Bunker’s plans for the future include a concert by the underground group Olovo on New Year’s Eve and the opening of the Polish-Ukrainian Exhibition entitled “Imagination. Reality”, which is the result of my work as curator in partnership with the Labirynt Gallery in Lublin. The exhibition arrived in the Bunker after successful shows in Lublin and in the National Art Museum in Kiev. Currently, there are already several proposals from arts centres for the continuation of the exhibition’s tour in other localities.

The next project will be the exhibition ‘Occupation’, in which I – as the curator for the current term in Ukraine - would like to follow the works of such artists as Santiago Sierra, Oleg Kulik, Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Mauricio Cattelan and Malki Tesler in their full diversity. The German film “Eine Frau in Berlin” will be screened as part of the project and it will be followed by a panel discussion with the participation of the historians Timothy Snyder and Volodimir Grîțak. The Gedankendach Branch of Cernauti will take part in the project. The exhibitions will become a platform for discussion, lessons and workshops. I am also planning to organize workshops and film screenings. The first one will be the performance art workshop with the participation of the famous artists Jerzy Onuch, Janusz Baldygi and Waldemar Tatarciuk from Poland. We also have on the agenda a solo project of the Munich painters Susanne Klausen and Paul Kerestey.

To sum up, I would like to say that the Bunker is a platform meant to contribute to the formation of a community of people who have a passion for modern culture. The Bunker’s role is to create high quality educational and artistic projects meant to extend the field of modern art as a territory of cultural communication in a city that does not possess such a platform.

Taras Polataiko, Coordinator