‘An odd work that has borne the brunt of my grief’: the serenity and the grit of Stanislava Pinchuk’s The Theatre of War

3 Mar 2024

“Pinchuk has created a work which is somehow serene and gritty in equal measure. A meditation on memory and sadness, it considers, with compassion and courage, the ways in which places bear witness to history. The Theatre Of War asks us, compels us, to look.”

The Conversation reviews Stanislava Pinchuk’s latest commission vide explores Homer’s ancient war poem The Iliad, and its ongoing relevance to contemporary conflicts. At the launch event for this new work on display at ACMI, Pinchuk spoke compellingly of the time the work took to compose, the support she received, and the grief that surrounded it. Commissioned in 2019, the making of The Theatre of War was interrupted by the COVID pandemic, and deeply inflected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“At times, extreme closeups of lines and wrinkles on hands and lips remind us of the resilience and the frailty of the body in war. There is a potent metaphor of landscape in the work: as a geographic descriptor, certainly, but also as a container for memory, and as a way to think about the terrain of bodies” writes Kate Hunter.

The Theatre of War is now playing at ACMI, Melbourne from now until 9 June 2024.