This podcast dialogue took place on July 17, 2022, nearly five months since Russia first invaded Ukraine. Cultural producer Janeil Engelstad and curator Lilia Kudelia spoke with curator and researcher Kateryna Filyuk and art historian and cultural programmer Ilya Zabolotnyi about how the war has impacted Ukrainian art and culture, issues of cultural preservation and self-agency, as well as the building of support networks and new art infrastructures. Filyuk is a curator at Izolyatsia Platform for Cultural Initiatives in Kyiv, whose mission has shifted to address the war-related needs of arts organizations, artists, and cultural workers (https://izolyatsia.org/en/). Zabolotnyi … Read more
Entangled Roots in the Mutating Nature of the New East: Kristaps Ancāns in Conversation with Corina Apostol and Jasmina Tumbas
Romanian-American-Baltic curator Corina L. Apostol and Latvian-British artist Kristaps Ancāns have recently begun a series of collaborations that focus on expanding discourses in contemporary art to include transnational perspectives centered on the New East. In December 2021, Apostol served as the curator for Ancāns’s large-scale site-specific installation what can’t we just create (2021-2022) at the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia. Prompted by the current invasion of Ukraine, Apostol and Ancāns revisit this installation in conversation with art historian Jasmina Tumbas, to discuss how they—as cultural workers from the region—negotiate the reconfiguration of questions of identity, nationalism, and sexuality … Read more
The Story of the Ukrainian Pavilion in Venice and Exhibition-Making as a Matter of Cultural Survival: An Interview with Maria Lanko
With the upcoming 59th International Art Exhibition in Venice on April 23, Maria Lanko, Lizaveta German, and Borys Filonenko—the curators of artist Pavlo Makov’s project Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta for the Ukrainian Pavilion—have found themselves in a difficult situation that has made it impossible for them to continue working on the exhibition. On March 8, 2022, the organizers of the pavilion announced that “despite the ongoing war, the team managed to evacuate the fragments of [Makov’s] artwork from Kyiv” and will be able to present it at the upcoming Venice Biennale.(“Ukrainian pavilion will make it to La Biennale … Read more
In support of artists, scholars, and all people forced to flee Ukraine because of the Russian invasion of the country, the editorial collective of ARTMargins Online is compiling a growing list of resources (primarily art- and research-related), including residencies, fellowships, internships, and emergency funds. We will continue to update this list as we become aware of new opportunities and resources. Please let us know of additional resources by contacting us through this online form.
- The Austrian Academy of Sciences announced support for Ukrainian scientists to come to Austria: https://www.oeaw.ac.at/…/PDF/Solidaritaetsadresse_EN.pdf.
- German funding programmes for scholars at risk
On the Concept of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ukraine: Svitlana Biedarieva in Conversation with Olya Balashova and Yuliia Hnat
For many years, Ukraine has experienced a growing need for a Museum of Contemporary Art that would function as the first state-run collection focused on acquiring and exhibiting the work of contemporary Ukrainian artists. The attempts to create such an institution began in the early 2000s, but thus far have been unsuccessful due to political and sociocultural factors. In 2020, a nonprofit association was created to work in an applied way on the development of theconcept of the museum, with the involvement of key experts in contemporary art and culture. In this interview, art historian and artist Svitlana Biedarieva speaks … Read more
Yevgeniy Fiks, Heaven and Earth: Yiddish Cosmos, Stanton Street Shul, New York, November 18–December 16, 2018.
The Soviet Space Age visual project conjures familiar images of charismatic and triumphant cosmonauts, rockets, courageous animals, and dazzling, mysterious planets, all under the banner of the Red Star. During the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and its eternal rival, the United States, mounted sophisticated political projects using the visual arts to promote their own version of a utopian, innovative future and even laid claims to conquering and colonizing outerspace. Today, these efforts have been by and large historicized and the propaganda machine … Read more
Utopia in Ukraine? Members of Concrete Dates Collective Reflect on In Edenia, A City of the Future and the Role of Utopia in Artistic Work
The art exhibition In Edenia, a City of the Future (June 8–July 9, 2017), co-organized by artist Yevgeniy Fiks and curator Larissa Babij, was inspired by the novella of the same title by Yiddish author and publisher Kalman Zingman. The story, written in 1918, takes place in a utopian future version of the real eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which is serviced by “aerotrains” and fountains that keep the temperature at a comfortable level year round. In Zingman’s world, ethnic communities, including Jews and Ukrainians, live side-by-side in peace and harmony, and residents consider war a thing of the past. … Read more
For the 2015 edition of the Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm (the annual international artist-run art fair), artists from Ukraine and its neighbouring countries were invited to discuss the role of art in times of war and chaos, as well as the possibilities for collaborating across borders. The art fair brought together artist-driven initiatives from around the world, including the collectives Parazit (St. Petersburg) and Open Place (Kyiv), whose members participated in the discussion below, together with Maria Kulikovskaya, an artist who is currently starting up an interdisciplinary feminist art residency in Kyiv. Building on this conversation in Stockholm, I … Read more
Open Letter from the Art Workers’ Self-Defense Initiative to the Ukrainian and International Art Community
Open Letter from the Art Workers’ Self-Defense Initiative to the Ukrainian and International Art Community(The Art Workers’ Self-Defense Initiative was established in Kyiv in 2012 to monitor and influence common practices in Ukraine’s cultural sphere, especially regarding the transparency and legality of institution–artist relations and the fair compensation of artistic labor.)
We are calling for a boycott of Mystetskyi Arsenal and all of its affiliate organizations in response to the situation surrounding the exhibition Great and Grand, which became part of the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus (July 26-28, 2013).(Mystetskyi … Read more
Since he began working at the PinchukArtCentre in 2009, artistic manager and curator Bjorn Geldhof’s curatorial intelligence has caught the attention of local artists and viewers. As curator of the past few annual Future Generation Art Prize exhibitions (as well as the solo shows of Candice Breitz, Damian Ortega, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Wall, Gary Hume and Anish Kapoor, among others), Geldhof has played an important role in shaping the institution’s mode of mediating the encounter between artworks by both international and Ukrainian artists and the PAC’s vast audience. The PinchukArtCentre remains Ukraine’s most visited institution devoted exclusively to contemporary art, … Read more
MYSTETSKYI ARSENAL, KYIV, MAY 24-JULY 31, 2012
The First Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art ARSENALE 2012 [http://arsenale2012.com], which took place concurrently with the Euro 2012 football championship hosted by Ukraine and Poland, had a dual aim to present high-quality artworks from all over the world in Kyiv and to display Ukrainian contemporary artists to the world on par with their international counterparts. Commissioned by Nataliia Zabolotna, the Biennale featured: Main Project “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art” (curator David Elliott); Special Project “Double Game” (curator Oleksandr Soloviov with coordination by Fabio … Read more
On November 10 and 11, 2011, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, a program in the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge, hosted a symposium to honor the wide-ranging work of Ukrainian filmmaker Ihor (Igor’) Savchenko (1906-1950). Savchenko’s career in cinema spanned several decades and encompassed an assortment of genres; his many credits include the first Soviet musical The Accordion (1934), the romantic comedy Chance Meeting (1936), and the wartime epics Bogdan Khmelnitskii (1941), The Russian Sailor: Ivan Nikulin (1944), and The Third Strike (1948). The Symposium consisted of screenings, discussions, and papers presented by leading international film-specialists that not … Read more
What is the creative potential of a situation where old conservative institutional practice meets new energy and ideas? Can we begin to value the living qualities of art stored in traditional museums by animating it with new points of view?
2009 saw the realization of eight curatorial projects that position contemporary art in the context of traditional Ukrainian museums. These projects were among the finalists selected by international jury in the competition “Art a priori: Contemporary Histories” sponsored by the EIDOS Arts Development Foundation. The competition was initiated in response to a visible need for Ukrainian contemporary art to address … Read more
ARTMargins begins a series of concise introductions to the developing art scenes of East-Central Europe.
Last May an exhibition titled Pohlyady (Views) that highlighted the confluence of art and politics was organized by HudRada (Arts Council) at the Center for Contemporary Art in Kyiv. HudRada is a group of Ukrainian artists, architects, translators and political activists; many members of the Ukrainian contemporary art community participate in its internet-based discourse. HudRada has wide-ranging aims, which include self-education through communication as well as creating exhibitions and other consciousness-raising events. Without the hierarchical management of a single curator, the members of HudRada collaborated … Read more
The following is a transcription of “Ukrainian Modernism: Identity, Nationhood, Then and Now,” a panel discussion organized by and held at the Chicago Cultural Center in conjunction with the exhibition Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, 1910-1930, on view at the Chicago Cultural Center, July 22-October 15, 2006, and The Ukrainian Museum, New York, November 5, 2006-April 29, 2007. The panel focused on the issues raised by the exhibition, as well as issues of concern to contemporary artists in Ukraine. Each panelist presented a brief statement about this topic, then the editor, Susan Snodgrass, presented the panel with a series of … Read more