The Theatre of War: Stanislava Pinchuk video art to premiere at ACMI

Ukrainian-Australian artist Stanislava Pinchuk compares The Iliad with ongoing conflicts in a 3-channel video artwork.

The world premiere of a new video work from Ukrainian-Australian artist Stanislava Pinchuk will open at Melbourne’s ACMI next month.

Titled The Theatre of War, the work is a new exhibition by artist Stanislava Pinchuk, recipient of the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for Young Australian Artists. The three-channel video work explores Homer’s ancient war poem The Iliad, and its ongoing relevance to contemporary conflicts.

‘It has been exhilarating, and terrifying to make my first film: a love letter to Homer,’ said Pinchuk. ‘But above all, I am so deeply grateful to have received such trust in the work, into which I have been able to pour my grief, rage, sorrow and hope all alike.’

Shot in three different locations – a theatre used for cultural events during the siege of Sarajevo, a current training base for Ukrainian soldiers in the UK, and the tomb of Homer on the Greek island of Ios – The Theatre of War features three performances of the opening lines from The Iliad, all filmed in settings that represent the title of the work. 

Pinchuk sets her work nine years into the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, weaving together three charged performances that draw on ancient storytelling traditions to express the suffering contemporary conflicts cause.

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‘We are proud to display Stanislava Pinchuk’s new work at ACMI,’ said Seb Chan, ACMI Director & CEO. ‘The Theatre of War offers audiences a chance to experience a unique and ambitious screen-based work from an exciting young artist reflecting on the present. We are especially excited to bring Pinchuk’s practice to a wider public audience. The exhibition extends the impact of ACMI’s vibrant commissioning programs which in collaboration with ACMI’s industry partners and philanthropists, saw nine new artist commissions in the 22–23 financial year, with over $300,000 of direct funding to artists.’

The previous recipient of the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for Young Australian Artists was Jason Phu, who premiered his work Analects of Kung Phu – Book 1, The 69 Dialogues between the Lamp and the Shadow at ACMI in 2021. Serwah Attafah, a multidisciplinary artist and musician, known for creating surreal cyber dreamscapes and Afrofuturistic artworks with contemporary themes, has been named the third and final recipient of the commission. Her proposed work The Darkness Between the Stars will premiere at the museum in 2025.

During the exhibition dates, Stanislava Pinchuk will be joined by writers Maria Tumarkin and Nam Le for an in-conversation event entitled Keepers of Memory – Artists, History & Loss at ACMI on 24 February. This panel discussion will look at ‘the critical role of artists as recorders of conflict and keepers of memory’ and explore representations of war since the battles described in The Iliad.

Stanislava Pinchuk: The Theatre of War will show in ACMI’s Gallery 3 from 19 February–9 June. For further details visit

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports