The uniform kit design is an artistic reconsideration of the famous work by El Lissitzky "Beat the Whites With the Red Wedge!" first published in Vitebsk in 1920. The unique project that has no analogues in the world was implemented due to the partnership of the Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center with Daniil Chalov and the creative football company "Nothing Ordinary". With the support of the Vitebsk Art School History Museum and FC Vitebsk.
[ about the project]
In celebration of three major anniversaries of 2020: 100 year of UNOVIS, 60 years of FC Vitebsk and 130 years of a prominent artist and architect El Lissitzky - a unique uniform kit in the spirit of the suprematist ideas and the Vitebsk art school has been designed and presented to the football club.
The uniform kits have complemented the collections of the Vitebsk Art School History Museum and one of the largest museums for contemporary art - Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
In October 2020 the unique football kit was handed over to museum collections. The Van Abbemuseum director Charles Esche, the Russian art department curator Willem Jan Renders and the Head of Office of the Netherlands Embassy, temporary charge d'affaires of the Netherlands in Belarus, Erik Jan van Oosterhout, took part in the ceremony online.
«This project is a story that shows that time and circumstances mean nothing for a real masterpiece. Even 100 years after its birth, art can live on adapting to the context of contemporary culture, and every time gain a new life and a new value».
Daniil Chalov, initiator of the uniform kit design project, ex-player of FC Vitebsk
«We are striving to create projects that celebrate Belarus and its cultural heritage all over the world, finding new forms to present this heritage to make it live on, and not just remain a still monument. Such level of recognition of the projects created here is another proof of the professionalism and potential that we have in our country».
Maya Katznelson, founder of the Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center
Daniil Chalov, initiator of the uniform kit design project, player of FC Vitebsk. Sports.ru read
«Chagall and Malevich in art are like Messi and Ronaldo in football. Malevich is Ronaldo - he has the system of suprematism, manifests, the clarity of ideas. Chagall is Messi. A pure talent, a man from space - you look at his paintings and feel like you're on a different planet».
Valeria Lissitzky, great granddaughter of El Lissitzky Vitebsk City Portal read
«Until his last days El Lissitzky wouldn't stop improving. He treasured every moment, was eager to live his life to the fullest, saying: "...but this is a crime against the time. We don't have too much of it and it must be used for persistent study of the living experience that is being constructed in contemporary times, and not in the romantic escape from today…". What was helping him to feel alive was his art and the endless energy of his talent that he was generously gifted with by the Universe. This project, to my mind, is exactly this - a living experience built into the modern day, as an answer, or maybe even a challenge, busting the stereotypes».
«Van Abbemuseum for Contemporary Art in the Netherlands has highly appreciated the project and expressed the desire to add the kit to its collection. The museum director Charles Esche noted that "one of the most powerful drawings that El Lissitzky made in Vitebsk was the poster "Beat the White With the Red Wedge!". The uniform for FC Vitebsk is a link between the avant garde and the pop culture».
«A unique project has become possible due to the partnership of the Belarusian-Jewish Cultural Heritage Center and the company "Nothing Ordinary" with the support of the Vitebsk Art School History Museum and FC Vitebsk. The uniform kit has been presented to the club as a gift».
Jon Blackwood, Curator of Contemporary Art, Writer Jonblackwood.net read
«To return to the example of Vitebsk, it's easy to see the brief moment of UNOVIS as a great football squad coming together and breaking up. Pen, the distant mentor and supporter, at the beginning; Chagall as a genius player-manager whose relationship with his star player, Malevich, broke down irretrievably in bitterness and acrimony; Lissitzky the grafter and producer, who would later move and achieve much bigger fame abroad before returning to Russia; it's not a cheap parallel to apply these kinds of relationships in a football context».
«In Eastern Europe, the language of socialism and the history of the Russian revolution have been largely rendered meaningless and often worse, corrupted into its opposite by the long, grim legacy of Stalinism. So El Lissitzky's radical, hopeful message and it's revolutionary context might not shine through today».