ARTKURSYV # 6 ’2021

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artkursyv art magazine

www.mari.kiev.ua

2021 #6


арткурсив With gratitude for their assistance in implementing this project to Dmytro Averin Stella Beniaminova Natalia & Robert Brovdi Roman Davydov Artur Garmash Tamara Gorokhovska & Oleg Gorokhovskyi Andriy Isak Dmytro Liakhovetskyi Boris Lozhkіn & Nadia Shalomova Sergey Makhno Yarema Miklosh Viacheslav Mishalov Volodymyr Pirus Ganna Prokhorova

Modern Art Research Institute

Liudmyla Pyshna & Andriy Pyshnyy

of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine

Illia Sahaidak Maksym Shkil Olena Sosiedka

ARTKURSYV # 6 ’2021

Natalia & Volodymyr Spielvogel Dmytro Topachevskyi

Art magazine

Svitlana Trofymchuk Ruslan Tymofieiev Igor Vlasov Igor Voronov Artur Yermolayev Bogdan Yesipov

Cover history “Our magazine, the second issue of which you are holding in your hands, is the selection and search for new ideas, themes, new colours and graphic comprehension as a necessity for a new aesthetics in communication and media processes. The arrows — the lines of time — are constantly moving forward.” Sergei Sviatchenko A series of covers created exclusively for Artkursyv publication is modernism multiplied by minimalism. The idea of “stretched” time, like two clock hands connected in one line, is the movement towards a new goal. If at the end of the year, you put together the covers of all the issues, you will notice how the arrows show the relentless “progress” of time. Many viewers associate his style with the famous LESS collage series, which the artist has been creating since 2004. We sought to find the answer to one question, “What does the process of creation mean to you?”…

Art directors: Igor ABRAMOVYCH, Igor SAVCHUK Editor-in-Chief: Roksana RUBLEVSKA Managing editor: Ivan KULINSKI Literary editor: Maxim DOBROVOLSKY Project Manager: Viktoriia KULIKOVA Cover design: Sergei SVIATCHENKO Print design: Andriy SHALYGIN

Editorial Board: Victor SYDORENKO, academician of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Modern Art Research Institute director (head of the editorial board) Olesia AVRAMENKO, Candidate of Sciences in art history, senior research fellow Serhii VASYLIEV, Merited art worker of Ukraine Hanna VESELOVSKA, Doctor of Arts in art history, professor, leading research fellow Iryna ZUBAVINA, Doctor of Arts in art history, professor, academician of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine Asmati CHIBALASHVILI, Candidate of Sciences in art history, Modern Art Research Institute scientific secretary Contributors: Anna AVETOVA, Denis BELKEVICH, Serhii VASYLIEV, Kateryna HONCHAR, Anastasiia GONCHARENKO, Danylo KAPLAN, Viktoria KULIKOVA, Alisa LOZHKINA, Nataliia MATSENKO, Oles NIKOLENKO, Ganna PROKHOROVA, Kateryna RAY, Anna SAVITSKAYA, Valeriy SAKHARUK, Oleksandr SOLOVIOV, Svitlana STOIAN, Iryna YATSYK Translated into English by Iryna GOYAL Published by the decision of the Academic Council of the Modern Art Research Institute of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine Scientific publication УДК 008 +78 +792 +791.43 +85 The publication, founded by the Modern Art Research Institute of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, aims to cover the multifaceted phenomena of modern art, i.e. music, theatre, cinema and visual arts. The publication is intended for theorists and practitioners of modern art. 18-D, Yevhena Konovaltsia Street, Kyiv, 01133 Phone: (044) 529-2051 Official site of the Institute: www.mari.kiev.ua https://www.instagram.com/artkursyv https://www.facebook.com/artkursyv © Modern Art Research Institute of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, 2021


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Слово редактора З моменту проголошення державної незалежності культура України зазнала суттєвих трансформацій. Та доклавши чималих зусиль задля збереження самобутності як маркеру національної ідентичності, вітчизняне мистецтво поступово стало частиною європейського культурного контексту. Такий результат став можливим тільки завдяки інтересу українських митців до власної історії у спробі відтепер творити її самостійно. У фокусі уваги художників опинилися теми комуністичного минулого, теми розвитку техногенної цивілізації, наслідків діджиталізації та глобалізації, екології, гібридної війни, цінності людського життя за доби капіталістично-орієнтованого суспільства. 6 (11) номер «Арткурсиву» присвячений 30-річчю незалежності України і її культури, а тому більше схожий на перелік найзначніших наших тріумфів у галузі образотворчого мистецтва, фотографії, музики, авторського кіно, інституційної арт-системи, театру. Автори мистецького часопису намагалися докладніше розглянути мистецькі явища і події, котрі сформували культуру у тому вигляді, як ми її знаємо й цінуємо сьогодні. Відтак мистецтвознавці й арт-журналісти торкнулися і проблем, пов’язаних із розвитком арт-ринку, від становлення галерейної та виставкової справи, аукціонів в Україні до репрезентації сучасних українських художників на західних торгах і міжнародних виставкових проектах. Ми чи не єдині з арт-видань оприлюднили конкретні дані про найдорожчі продажі з 1991 року, а також розповіли про шляхи вирішення проблеми популяризації вітчизняного мистецтва закордоном. Центральною темою номеру є розвиток інституційної системи сучасного мистецтва України в період останніх 30 років. Грунтовне дослідження ІПСМ простежує зміни інституційної системи у вказаний період з урахуванням низки важливих подій, які хронологічно відзначають останні роки перед офіційним розпадом СРСР. У роботі міститься панорамний огляд розвитку ключових інституцій в галузі підтримки сучасного мистецтва України з огляду на формування професійних спільнот, які стали рушійною силою змін. Наголошується на важливості синергії міждисциплінарної та міжгалузевої співпраці між усіма агентами художнього поля України. Іншою важливою темою номеру є пошук точки перетину між мистецтвом та мовознавством. Присвячена цьому стаття базується на матеріалах виставки «Art Seasons. Verbalization», що проходила в Інституті проблем сучасного мистецтва. Об’єднавши твори кільканадцяти молодих українських художників, вона фокусувалася на стратегіях комунікацій через медіум мистецтва. Кураторське висловлювання ґрунтувалося на семіотичних та постструктуралістських методологіях і мало на меті оприявнити штучність та домовленість будь-яких знакових систем. Сконструйованість людських мов і засобів передачі інформації демонструвалися на прикладах скульптур, живописних полотен та графічних творів. Ще наочнішим є прояв конвенційності мовних практик та інструментів соціальної взаємодії на контрасті з цифровим та NFT мистецтвом. У статті простежується казуальність, тобто унікальність кожної комунікаційної ситуації. Крім того, досліджується інтерактивна модель «глядач — автор» і розглядається роль об’єктів мистецтва як своєрідних тренажерів для сприйняття. «Арткурсив» вирішив скласти перелік найбільш знакових виставкових проектів, які показували та осмислювали українське візуальне мистецтво з моменту здобуття незалежності. В умовах повсякчасної суспільної амнезії, яка тільки починає повільно долатися завдяки здобуттю культурними інституціями суб’єктності, появі нових компетентних кураторів, художників, критиків та інших фахівців, а також численним дослідженням та історичним фіксаціям, цей текст, що не є рейтинговим, стає ще одним внеском у вибудовування хронології та класифікації сучасного українського мистецтва. Тож ювілейний номер відкриває панораму цілої епохи, завдяки якій ми чи не повністю вирвалися з лещат усього радянського і стилістично позначили культуру України на світовій мапі.

Editor’s Introduction Since the proclamation of independence, the culture of Ukraine has undergone significant transformations. However, having made considerable efforts to preserve its originality and uniqueness as a marker of national identity, domestic art has gradually become part of the European cultural context. Such a result became possible only due to the interest of Ukrainian artists in their history in an attempt to create it independently from now on. The artists focused on the topics of the communist past, the development of man-made civilization, the effects of digitalization and globalization, ecology, hybrid warfare, and the value of human life in the era of capitalist-oriented society. Artkursyv issue No. 6(11) is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and the country’s culture, and therefore resembles a list of our most significant triumphs in the field of fine arts, photography, music, auteur films, institutional art system, and theatre. The authors of the art magazine tried to examine in more detail the artistic phenomena and events that shaped culture in the form we know and appreciate today. Thus, art critics and art journalists touched upon the problems related to the development of the art market, from the establishment of gallery and exhibition business and auctions in Ukraine to the representation of contemporary Ukrainian artists at Western auctions and international exhibition projects. We are nearly a unique art publication to provide specific data on the most expensive sales since 1991, as well as to talk about ways to solve the problem of promoting domestic art abroad. This issue’s central topic is the development of the institutional system of contemporary art in Ukraine over the past 30 years. A thorough study by the Modern Art Research Institute traces the changes in the institutional system during this period, taking into account some important events that from a time perspective affect the last years before the official collapse of the USSR. The study provides a panoramic overview of the development of key institutions in the field of contemporary art support in Ukraine in view of the formation of professional communities that have become a driving force for change. The study also emphasizes the importance of synergy of interdisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation between all actors of the artistic field of Ukraine. Another important topic of the current issue is the search for the point of intersection between art and linguistics. The relevant article is based on the materials of the Art Seasons. Verbalization exhibition which took place at the Modern Art Research Institute. Combining the works of several young Ukrainian artists, the exhibition focused on communication strategies through the medium of art. The curatorial statement was based on semiotic and poststructuralist methodologies and aimed to reveal the artificiality and accord of any sign systems. The construction of human languages and means of information transmission was demonstrated through sculptures, paintings and graphic works. The conventionality of language practices and tools of social interaction was even more evident in contrast to digital and NFT art. The article shows the casualness, i.e. the uniqueness of each communication situation. In addition, it studies the interactive model “spectator—author” and considers the role of art objects as a kind of simulator for perception. Artkursyv dared to select a list of the most iconic exhibition projects that have shown and comprehended Ukrainian visual art since the country’s independence. In the conditions of constant social amnesia, which just slowly starts to be overcome due to the acquisition of subjectivity by cultural institutions, the emergence of new competent curators, artists, critics and other professionals, as well as due to numerous studies and historical recordings, this non-rated text becomes another contribution to the construction of chronology and classification of contemporary Ukrainian art. Therefore, the independence anniversary issue opens a panorama of the whole epoch, thanks to which we have almost completely freed ourselves from the grip of everything Soviet and stylistically marked the culture of Ukraine on the world map.

Роксана Рублевська — головний редактор мистецького часопису «Арткурсив»

By: Roksana Rublevska, the leading editor of Artkursyv art magazine

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VERBALIZATION: ON REALITY AND ART “IN THE WORDS OF THEIR OWN” The multi-series Verbalization project is an attempt to find points of intersection between art and linguistics, to explore how the communication between the viewer and the author, mediated by the work of art, takes place. Probably the most important idea around which the Art Seasons. Verbalization summer exhibition at the Modern Art Research Institute focused was casuality, i.e. the uniqueness of each case, each speech situation. Artistic expression is formed through searching for supports in the chaos of the world around and the memory of the speaker (artist). However, this awareness of the rules of the game and guidelines for stabilization are never embodied in a stable, accessible and holistic idea. The work of art is constantly spreading, changing its outlines, mimicking the spirit of the era and allegedly slipping out of sight. If art is called eternal, then it should be also called eternally variable. The Verbalization project was first implemented in 2019. At that time, a telephone was placed next to each work, and a person could call the artist and talk to him/her, express himself/herself and listen to the other party. Such an experiment established direct communication between people — the one who creates and the one who sees the created. The essence of the new project, implemented on the basis and with the support of the Modern Art Research Institute, is to produce, study and demonstrate the relationships between art, communication structures and the latest media technologies. The exhibition offers to us slow

SASHA Q & Olena Saponova. Untitled, canvas, oil, 200 x 150 cm, 2021

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down, pay attention to and think about our surroundings. And above all, it offers openness and willingness to tell one’s story. In a broad sense, verbalization is also a shared experience of talking about the experience. The contact between the viewer and the work of art is a unique coincidence of circumstances that cannot be calculated, but one can try to predict it as closely as possible. If we turn to the universal model of the communicative process of Roman Jakobson, then the curators of this exhibition, Anastasiia Goncharenko and Anna Avetova, created such a context and phatic conditions that the interaction between the addressor and the addressee was transparent and wide. At the same time, it is obvious that the codes of the author and the viewer cannot be identical. They overlap, partially coincide, contradict or repeat each other. This is the reception of art. These considerations can be illustrated by the works of Kyiv street artist NAMELESS from the exhibition. In his acrylic-ink calligraphy, various visual traditions are reported. Among the thickets of his lines, curls and dots one can see not only the central expression but also the cultural codes of different languages and spellings, Cyrillic, Arabic and supposedly alien handwriting. It is noteworthy that in an audio commentary to the exhibition, the artist himself notes that the work can be considered complete when it is in the same space with the viewer, able to perceive it holistically and without meaningful distortions. In fact, the heterogeneous in its composition and intensity exposition clearly proves that there is no ideal viewer (or,


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Vlad Melnyk. Untitled, mixed technique, 120 x 100 cm, 2021

Yevhen Lapchenko & MYKOLA. “Che”bucks

using the terminology of Umberto Eco, an exemplary reader). The concentration of different experiences, messages and methods, (not) embedded in works of art, leaves no chance for a perfect reading of the exhibition as a complete system. The language we speak to the world is the accumulation of experience of the presence and absence of knowledge, areas of interest and ignorance, mastery of certain dictionaries and metaphors. The languages of the authors in the exhibition are very different: painting, photography, sculpture, digital and NFT art. They also differ in size, flatness, subject matter, colour, etc. But the unifying category for all of them is verbalization, which is a meta-concept of the whole project. The discourse given in the title — verbalization — involves a focus on language and the expression of verbal formulations for potentially successful communication between people. In a broader sense, language is any system of signs used by subjects to convey information. Therefore, any language is an artificial social convention. In art, images are signs, through which artists broadcast their thinking and vision. Art as an arrangement is a social construct, called, in the words of Bruno Latour, to “assemble” an object (in this case, a phenomenon of artistic creativity), that is, to structure

and give shape. It becomes real to the extent that it affects the world around us. That is, each work in the exhibition has as much meaning as you will see in it. The language forms a single space of everyday life, capable of accommodating the private interactions of all who speak. Similarly, the Verbalization exhibition is the placing in one white cube of macabre graphics by Darina Kharaman, a black abyss of empty pupils from the canvas of Sasha Grebenyuk and collective farmers against the background of badges of famous brands of the artist MYKOLA. This is a deliberate symbolic invasion, a dictate of the language of art. However, how does the ironic surrealism of Yuri Bolsa and the floral motifs of Rita MAikova relate? What are the hypothetical similarities between the sculptures of Yevhen Lapchenko and Loa Pionkosvski? Many of these answers are in the language of one viewer and none in the language of another. This is the formula for the polyvalence of verbalization. The exhibition featured recordings of the voices of young artists, who answered the following questions formulated for them by the curators: • What can you convey in the language of art that ordinary language cannot convey? • Is the language of art universally understood?

• What are the relationships between form and content that are important to you in your work? • Is the artwork self-sufficient and complete or does it exist only in the presence of the viewer? That is, the authors presented their work, told what art was for them, and thus invited visitors to a dialogue about the exhibition. This is a very unique live contact with artists. Artists’ reasoning about language as a tool of free expression, the desire to promote their art or tell that it does not require any explanation is the culmination of the project. Finally, verbalization is a personal experience. This is reality and art “in the words of their own.”

MYKOLA. The dominance of brands in the space of human minds against the background of the boundless space, canvas, oil, 110 x 175 cm, 2021

NAMELESS. We are free out of time, acrylic, ink, spray, 150 x 150 cm, 2021

Verbalization project exposition. Lavra Gallery, 2019

By: Anna Avetova, an art manager, curator

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GALLERY BUSINESS IN UKRAINE —

HOW IT ALL

BEGAN Along with freedom, Independence brought the need to learn to exist in the new market conditions of capitalism. Having destroyed the totalitarian system, Perestroika did not give society clear tools on how to build a new reality. For a while, the country was engulfed in devastation, which would later be called the tumultuous 1990s, characterized by the formation of business on illegal grounds, the inability of the State to influence anything or to stop the scattering of the material heritage of the Soviet Union, and the total economic crisis. This did not contribute to the formation of the art market in the young country. However, unrestricted by censorship, excited with freedom and new opportunities, artists created, striving to exhibit and sell. In Soviet times, the artistic sphere was clearly regulated. The artistic processes were taken care

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of by specialized unions, which distributed state orders and made sure that no manifestations of ideological dissension reached the masses through art. The Union of Artists had considerable resources, so artists who clearly followed ideological guidelines received stable funding and their works were purchased for museum collections. Freedom in exchange for material well-being — this agreement was suitable to many. And for the rest, there was no chance to be exhibited, since due to the strict exhibition committees any works with signs of the avant-garde were not allowed in the halls of the union. The Iron Curtain did not fall at once; this process began with gradual “rust.” New trends began to appear, and young people picked them up in their work. Seeking to control these processes, understanding the irreversibility of innovations, ideologues sought a way to take control and lead, creating the illusion of weakening. Youth Unions emerged, where a little more self-expression was allowed, and socalled “work with underground youth” was carried out. The Youth Union hired young and proactive artists and critics, who were entrusted with the formation of new exhibitions. According to art critic and direct participant of those events Oleksandr Soloviov, they intensified cardinal changes which the Union could not influence anymore. Artists united in creative groups, cooperatives, exhibiting their works in the halls of the Union of Artists, which later, having lost the last remnants of the former influence, began to rent them out. And only then did the first galleries begin to appear. Ukraine had a strong artistic environment, but all new trends and tendencies continued to come from Moscow. The first sprouts of the art market, and hence the galleries, the first auctions of the international format with foreign buyers — all this took place there, just as the first serious sales of artists whose names are now cult, like Oleksandr Roitburd, Arsen Savadov, and Vasily Tsagolov. In fact, the first two galleries in Ukraine were Triptych and Soviart. Baltic galleries became a model for the creation of the Triptych. With Perestroika, it quickly became clear that the withdrawal of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia from the Union was a matter of time, as these countries were already oriented to the West, which was reflected in art. Inspired by the example of the Baltics, where ceramics long ago went beyond traditional handicrafts and began to produce powerful art objects, ceramic artists Nelli Isupova, Volodymyr Isupov, Oleksandr Milovzorov, Natalia Pikush founded the Triptych Gallery in 1988. They formed an art association, working together in a community workshop for monumental ceramics (personal workshops were not given to ceramists,


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as ceramics was not considered an unimportant art). Later, with the support of the then head of the Podil district state administration, who dreamed of making Andriyivsky Descent an art street, the artists got a room there. Nelli Isupova recalls that the gallery was opened in order to be able to show their work in general, there was no commercial profit. The first sales were made at a minimum amount to employees of foreign embassies and consulates, which appeared in Ukraine en masse after 1991. The gallery experienced the collapse of the cooperative, the gangster 1990s when artists had to defend the premises from raider seizures, financial crises, and market transformations. The 2020 quarantine turned out to be fatal, after which the premises were closed and its future fate is still unknown. The other first Ukrainian gallery of contemporary art was called Soviart. Founded in 1987, it still functions today as a centre of contemporary art. It entered the art movement with bright, previously impossible projects created in collaboration with foreigners — the Soviet-American Exhibition of Two Sister Nations and close cooperation with Danish galleries.

The artistic processes of the 1990s are colourful and multi-vector, like everything else in that period. One-day galleries began to appear, opened at the expense of unknown origin. The sale of art at that time was hardly a lucrative business and the opening of such galleries was often due to completely different needs — to bring out shadow capital, to make a location for one’s own collection of modern art or as a hobby for children or mistresses of wealthy rulers. However, despite the purpose of their foundation, such galleries contributed to the development of contemporary art, allowed artists to develop, and demonstrated their works to the general public. Some of these galleries have managed to survive for quite a long time and even go down in history with several notable exhibition projects. Some even took artists to exhibit abroad. The names of Vesta or ArtEast were heard for some time but later disappeared without a trace. For a long time, the Soros Foundation had a significant influence on the formation of contemporary art in Ukraine. Significant financial support through a system of grants, strong educational activities

among artists, which included work with foreign curators, systematic exhibition of our artists at major foreign exhibitions — the work of the legendary gallery opened by the Foundation at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy showed the artists what the interaction between artists and institution can be. The emergence of influential art institutions has significantly enlivened the artistic environment, offering a qualitatively new model of cooperation. The galleries of the next wave of the 2000s and 2010s (VOLOSHYN GALLERY, Bereznitsky Art Foundation, Ya Gallery, Dymchuk Gallery, Abramovych.art) already operate by the Western model, presenting the works of Ukrainians at world art fairs, organizing grants and art awards, helping to make the names of the artists they work with well known far beyond the country. However, those first galleries of the turbulent 1990s, even if they did not survive to this day, helped Ukrainian contemporary art to lay the foundation of the domestic art market. By: Kateryna Honchar, an art expert

Author of collages: Kateryna Honchar

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COLLECTOR’S EDITION

30 YEARS OF PRESENCE. A BOOK DEDICATED TO THE ANNIVERSARY OF UKRAINIAN ART Ukrainian contemporary art is young by its historical standards. It mostly developed in independent Ukraine, although its starting point is found a little earlier, in the last decade before the collapse of the USSR. However, despite this age, it has already gone through one full cycle of generational change and is in anticipation of the imminent appearance of the newest generation. The motivating reasons for the dynamism of processes in contemporary art in Ukraine are largely social and political upheavals. The art scene is being renewed not only by obeying the internal logic of art itself, but also is being inspired by external factors — the collapse of the totalitarian system, the independence, two revolutions, and war. Even the first generation emerged at a tectonic fracture; its appearance coincided with the collapse of the Soviet empire. The birth of the next generation often referred to as “post-orange” was directly related to the events of the first revolutionary Maidan. Such an explosive, essentially post-traumatic consciousness violates and confuses the measured order, displaces the usual circulation of phenomena, contributing to the imposition of one on the other. This makes it possible to display on one surface different periods of time and “pictures of the world” in their densely compressed historical interaction. This principle of assembling times and overlapping generations contributes to the emergence of special “poetics of inconsistencies.” Contemporary art of Ukraine during the period of independence practically defies unambiguous and stable definitions, characteristics and generalizations. It is extremely mixed in its polyphony. If at the beginning of the 1990s, expressive, baroque, sensual, but apolitical artists came to the fore, then the generation that formed after 2004 is distinguished by programmatic politicization and restraint of feelings. However, in the very last period, other art also matures. It again favours the affirmation of the idea of aesthetic autonomy, rather than a quick response to the news of the day. If you look at the general picture of Ukrainian art over thirty years of independence from the point of view of the development of its various types, their dynamics, transformations in time, then it will also not look one-sided in terms of the inf luence of all this on the main thing — the history and characteristic features of the image itself. Even a step before independence, at the end of the 1980s, Ukraine experienced a picturesque neo-expressionist boom, which caught the very first moments of our country already in a new status and coincided with the postmodern decline

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in world art. By the mid-1990s, most of the names that personified this boom preferred installation, kinetic sculpture, performance, but, above all, media practice — video and photography. The second half of the 1990s caused a surge in Ukrainian media art. This was perhaps the most fruitful stage. During this period, artists appeared in Ukraine, focused exclusively on working with the media. One of the features of the Ukrainian video of this period of time was the active use of quotes. Many video works were based on the appropriation of classical works of cinema or other people’s video materials, but with the author’s reformatting, altering what was borrowed. In the late 1990s, video art, which thinks in the format of a television box, was replaced by another video created for a specially designated dark room with a projection (black box), where the viewer is left alone with the work, experiencing it as a video installation with its own spatial aura. After a surge of interest in new media in the late 1990s, it was time for a return to painting, which once again proved its ability to survive, this time in completely new, post-media forms. Media expansion has radically changed the forms and ways of broadcasting the surrounding world. The consciousness of artists is now shaped more by informational hallucinosis, rather than a cultural f low. At the same time, it should be noted that the pictorial vacuum formed in the 1990s was partly filled with plastic abstraction, which unexpectedly at the peak of postmodernism instilled a modernist tradition in Ukraine. Sculpture and its interest in the paradoxicality of unusual materials (called “change of context” by critics) are becoming an increasingly popular type in the arsenal of Ukrainian artists during this period of departure from their profile pictorial idea. Another motivation for the spread of sculpture in the 1990s was the general reorientation of art towards installation, volume and space. A new round in the spread of sculpture took place already in the 2010s, when a whole galaxy of young sculptors appeared on the Ukrainian art scene, keen on searching for a modern sound of this traditional art. Since the new point of reference, which became the independence of the country, the penetration of computer technologies has been noticeable in graphics, as well as the craving not just for the usual serial transmission of ideas, but for design thinking — more and more often graphic works overcome the threshold of view and create an expanded installation field. The 30 Years of Presence publication, on the one hand, continues the line of presenting contemporary


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Ukrainian art of the sovereign era, which was outlined in the previous two albums, five and ten years ago. On the other hand, it is built on a different principle. The 100 artists who were selected for this publication, in turn, also chose only one of their works or only one of their projects in order to be interpreted by the critic. Today, no one talks about masterpieces, since it is believed that the art world has long lived in the post-masterpiece era, and other value criteria operate here. Rather, we can talk about iconic works — both for the authors themselves and, more importantly, for the general context. In addition to formal and semantic analysis, these small essays also include the history of the project’s creation in all its previously unknown details, a description of the life and social conditions in which it arose. The significance of the 30 Years of Presence book is primarily in the fact that being based on the dialectic of the part and the whole it ref lects the main milestones and trends in contemporary Ukrainian art. The unusually wide section of fragments offered therein acquaints the reader not only with a certain number of top names and their specific hits but seeks to capture the overall picture in all its mosaicism, intricacy, at the same time discontinuity and completeness. All changes and collisions related to the individual figurative system, thematic, genre, media, generational factors, and noticeable during a particular period of a thirty-year distance, were visibly embodied in this publication. By: Oleksandr Soloviov, an art critic, curator

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GOLD MAY BE EASILY TOLD:

UKRAINIANS IN THE FOREIGN ART MARKET

(PART 1)

When there is talk of Ukrainian art in the West, the list of the most prominent artists often be­ gins with Malevich, Delaunay, Archipenko, Kab­ akov, and Mikhailov, Ukrainians by origin. How­ ever, there are enough of our compatriots working successfully in the art market, whose work is well known to the general public, but their names are of­ ten ignored by the media. We decided to tell about some of these people and today we offer the first four names. All the respondents were asked five questions: 1) How did you manage to adapt to the new country? What were the difficulties? Do you feel nostalgic? 2) What do you first hear about our art abroad when people find out that you are from Ukraine? 3) What makes you related to Ukraine today, do you develop our art in your current position? 4) What needs to be done in Ukraine for its art to become an international brand? 5) What advice could you give to artistic Ukrainians who want to find themselves abroad?

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Olena Grubb Residence: Berlin, Germany Olena is an art consultant, specialist in bringing Ukrainian art to foreign markets. The owner of MAGENTA ART BOOKS publishing house. MA in Art Business (with Honours) from Sotheby’s Institute of Art (London), International Law LLM from Edinburgh Law School. 1) Adaptation takes time. It can take over a year to understand how another culture works. The greatest difficulty is the language and knowledge of local contexts. I don’t really feel nostalgic, as I visit Ukraine quite often. 2) Ivan Turetsky, who entered the sector of world cubism masters, recently became a discovery for the Western market. The names of Oleksandr Archipenko and Oleksandr Bogomazov are getting more recognizable. The Museum of Modernism in Lviv shone a spotlight on Ukrainian art which is extremely valuable for the world market. 3) I follow the path of educating all parties and building relationships on a personal level, because it works most effectively, and also attracts young people, who will develop this line of work in the future. 4) Everything should be natural. I love the example of Ruslan Baginskiy, who went straight to the top of the fashion world pyramid. The secret is to qualitatively fit the Ukrainian narrative into the modern world context. 5) If you want to find yourself abroad, do your job well and honestly. Do not be afraid of your traditions or your culture. Be yourself. This is the challenge and this is the success.


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Serhiy Savchenko. Photo by Denis Struk

Alina Gordienko, a curator, film director, producer (London)

Alina Gordienko Residence: London, UK Alina is the founder of Saturn 8 production agency (London). She has shot music videos for worldknown performers. In 2021, she held a series of crypto-art exhibitions. 1) Adaptation was quite easy for me because I grew up emerged in British culture. Since childhood, I felt my spiritual belonging to the island and dreamed of living here. I think it is quite difficult to feel nostalgic in our time, because, thanks to technology, you can always be in touch with your loved ones. 2) Unfortunately, Ukrainian art is still poorly represented in the international market. However, it is well-known that there is active development of new progressive and relevant art and music in Ukraine. For example, the young photographers of Synchrodogs are active in cooperating with foreign brands and participating in international exhibitions. 3) I will always remain connected to Ukrainian art by warm memories of the years when I was the curator of HudPromo Art Gallery in Odesa. As a clip-maker, I shot most of my works for foreign performers in Ukraine, trying to involve Ukrainian specialists and show interesting Ukrainian locations. 4) Visual experience, extensive reading and understanding of the global current agenda are the main factors for artists to go beyond the local framework. It is necessary to scale emotionally and learn to catch and transmit global trends through one’s work. 5) One should open up to the new, not resist the inevitable changes, and not lose faith in one’s true purpose, even when it is not easy.

Serhiy Savchenko Residence: Gdansk, Poland Serhiy is a gallery owner, artist. Graduated from the Lviv College of Decorative and Applied Arts, the Lviv Academy of Arts. The founder of Savchenko Foundation and Savchenko Gallery in Gdansk. A participant and organizer of numerous exhibitions and art events in Ukraine and around the world. 1) I am lucky with the “new” country because I have been communicating with colleagues from Poland for a long time. This is a large number of joint art projects, exhibitions, symposia and other events implemented in the past. 2) Ordinary visitors either know nothing about us or know little and use stereotypes. They are surprised having previously thought that Ukrainian art is “ethno” or somehow related to it. Unfortunately, when representing Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian government agencies still remain in the field of ethnography and folk crafts. 3) My position and relatively short distances allow me not to disrupt professional processes in Ukraine. Instead, my stay in Poland opened up new opportunities for the projects. 4) First of all, we need to develop our country, strengthen cultural institutions, and support initiatives and projects that have already emerged and operate outside Ukraine. 5) Be open and a new country will open up to you.

Aleksandra Artamonovskaja Residence: London, UK Aleksandra is a co-founder of Electric Artefacts, a London-based innovation studio for digital art and NFT projects. An ambassador for the .ART domain zone. An active writer and speaker at Ars Electronica, University of Saint Martin’s, NFT.NYC and other forums. 1) Before moving to London ten years ago, I spent most of my life in Prague. Thanks to international schools, a global paradigm of world perception has been formed since childhood, which helps to adapt to new places. 2) At the mass level, people abroad are acquainted with the projects of PinchukArtCentre, the works of Maria Prymachenko, the annual Voloshyn Gallery art fair program. 3) At Electric Artefacts, we are currently launching Stepan Ryabchenko’s first NFT collection. Together with the V-Art platform, the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and the British Council, we have recently launched a five-month Digital Art Observatory project. 4) One of the main factors for reaching the international level is the degree of popularity of the artist in their native country. Now social networks have blurred these borders and more and more interesting Ukrainian projects inspired by foreign practices are being born. I am currently researching the creation of the Ukrainian Art DAO — a digital decentralized autonomous organization — to unite like-minded people around the interests of Ukrainian art. 5) Thanks to modern technology and the Internet, it is now easy to find interest groups in which there is incredible support among its members. Interviewer: Denis Belkevich, an art financier and art manager, a graduate of Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York)

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PUBLIC ART AS A CITY CODE

The modern city often positions itself through art, and its history and challenges are more easily explored through the artistic thought embodied in a public art object. A metropolis without a systematic program of implanting art in public spaces risks losing many opportunities for tourism infrastructure development. This is understood by large companies and public organizations, which emphasize the social responsibility of their activities and recognize the powerful influence of art as a display of their values.

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Public space as a means of communication during a pandemic If you look at the modern city, one of its main challenges is the safety and efficiency of public street space. After all, in the conditions of restrictions during a pandemic, the audience increasingly uses open air space, which becomes the main communication channel. Therefore, public art is also gaining more attention. I would like to explore an art object as a display of social challenges. What should it be like? Interactive? Dynamic? A good example is the work


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Reverberation, a New York exhibition of large-scale bells by Davina Semo. It consists of five bright orange bronze bells placed near Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park along New York City’s waterfront. The bells have their names — Dreamer, Listener, Mother, Reflector and Singer, each with its own voice and a unique configuration of holes drilled on their surface to create different pitches. The project emphasizes the peculiarities of our time. The bells give us the opportunity to raise our voices and unite with each other at a time when human connection and empathy have become so precious. A similar dialogue through an interactive art object was started by Vitaliy Kokhan, who established the Sculpture of Architecture ensemble in Mariupol, Ukraine. It is a symbol of the online museum Voices of Peaceful Ones, dedicated to the stories of migrants. People affected by the military conflict in eastern and southern Ukraine shared these stories with others. The type of space also defines the peculiarity of its filling with art objects. To study this issue, there are many projects around the world that involve experts, artists in the field of architecture, visual arts. For instance, the London route The Line offers a temporary exhibition of three-dimensional art objects and they are completely different from those that are installed on a permanent basis. One of the project representatives, Sarah Carrington, comments on this choice by saying that a compromise must be found between the tourist attractiveness, relevance and quality of the object in the city.

information about the world around it and publishes it in a time circle, superimposing new information on the plot, which was recorded on the same date a year ago. A temporary monument has become a common solution for overcrowded cities. Expositions that “emerge” in permanent locations with their own context, play around it, quote, and communicate have a powerful impact on the viewer, who needs constant change, replacement of the image, just as information is perceived on the Internet and social networks, and not from books and newspapers. In this case, it is important to leave the object the right to be not the subject of design or decoration of the space, but an independent expression that integrates into space and gets a new sound. For example, Pulsar by Vasyl Hrublyak, which after being placed in a historic fortress and a park found its place in the A-Station zone in Kyiv (within the DIM project), and played the role of a formative element in building an art cluster of public location. This territory in Kyiv is a symbol of a new city, an example of a transit place, which is perhaps the largest artery of traffic today. It is a historic centre that is being rethought and presented in a new way in the form of creative spaces, hubs, innovative centres of leisure, education, recreation and work. Located in such a space, Pulsar emphasizes its specificity and, at the same time, saturates it with new, more philosophical meanings. Such an exchange between a place and a temporary object is productive and influential in the process of presenting the object of art, developing art education through a visual project and discovering the new potential of the city.

Temporality of permanence A special challenge for the modern viewer is working with memory. Tool update Information and its volume determine the way Recently, more attention was paid to the study of life and thinking of modern man, and self-identifi- of the impact of new technologies on public art, cation directly depends on the quality and orderliness three-dimensional art in particular and its presentaof personal data (social networks; online presentation tion in the city. of personality). Purely audio or virtual installations that give An interesting experiment in working with data was an idea of form and concept but do not physically afLabyrinth of Time by Taras Popovych, created as part fect the space might be considered as interesting exof M17SculpturePrize. The installation “records” periments. In the context of information and visual

pollution of modern cities, this is even more conceptually justified than temporary facilities. Thus, within the framework of Slavutych, the Small Cultural Capital of Ukraine project, there are several residences, one of which is dedicated to three-dimensional art in virtual reality. During the residency, several Ukrainian artists, including Danylo Halkin, Yuri Yefanov, Mykhailo Alekseenko, Daniil Shumikhin, and others, explore the city of Slavutych and its contexts. The Apotheosis of the Empire topic became the central one and invited artists to find points of intersection with the city, which became the last in the plans of the Soviet past and which still lives in the past and the illusory dream of “yesterday.” Today, the city is trying to orient itself — how to develop, how to keep its charm, yet at the same time not to lose its own population due to resource and motivational devastation. In the virtual world, artists visualize objects that are certain concepts and give their vision of the painful issues of Slavutych and its features. Virtual reality provides important tools that allow one to find new forms in a permanent place, to fantasize about architecture and urban planning in new conditions. The results of this sculptural residence can be seen in virtual reality helmets in the Slavutych Museum. Three-dimensional art has many forms and tools for studying the space and contexts of modern society; the main thing in this process is the relevance and topic. By: Kateryna Ray, an art projects curator, researcher of three-dimensional art and new technologies in visual art

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INSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN UKRAINE. A SHORT SKETCH

OF A LONG WAY The solemn appearance of the blue and yellow Ukrainian f lag in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on August 24, 1991, became a part of history. With the restoration of Independence, tectonic changes affected all spheres of life, including culture. However, the transitional stage, where the state system of Soviet-style art ceased to exist, and the new opportunities opened up, actually began a little earlier. Already in 1988, changes were felt: the first Sednivsky season took place, organized by the youth section of the Union of Artists, then headed by Tiberius Silvashi. A number of plein airs actually united the future generation of contemporary artists. In 1988, Victor Sydorenko and like-minded people created a real pavilion for artists’ exhibitions on the scaffolding in the Shevchenko Garden in Kharkiv. Then, together with Oleh Viklenko, a triennial of eco-posters and graphics Block 4 was launched. In 1989, in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, which was closed at that time, Impreza started, which became a cult event. In 1987, Viktor Khamatov founded in Kyiv the first non-governmental organization in the field of visual arts in Ukraine — the Centre for Contemporary Art Soviart. There was a period of turbulence, of changes that opened new opportunities for certain people, leaving others in complete uncertainty. For several decades, the professions of curator, cultural manager have been,

so to speak, for people with high adaptability to new conditions, for people who, in modern terms, are crisis managers in a permanent situation of challenges. The time gave birth to new galleries, art associations and various cultural initiatives and also absorbed them. In retrospect, we can say it was then that the history of contemporary Ukrainian art was created. Since the early 1990s, the influence of institutions based on Western donors has been felt: the Soros Centres for Contemporary Art in Kyiv (1993–2008) and Odesa (1996–2003) under the leadership of Marta Kuzma and then Jerzy Onuch, almost the only grant program to support artists at that time. In 2008, the centre was transformed into another type of institution — the CSM Foundation, which still operates. From the beginning of the 2000s, a new generation of institutions gradually appeared, which aimed to support and develop contemporary art. These include the Eidos Arts Development Foundation (since 2005), the Art Arsenal (since 2005), the PinchukArtCentre (since 2006), the Isolyatsia. Platform for Cultural Initiatives (Donetsk, 2010), and Renat Akhmetov Foundation’s Idea-Impulse-Innovation grant program. Communities of artists and curators were formed around each of these institutions, which actively developed contemporary art. Back then, crowdfunding for projects was not as common as it is today, and the sources of funding were either public

Opening of ARSENALE 2012, Golden Lily, Choi Jeong Hwa, Kyiv, 2012. Photo from the archive of I. Yatsyk

Vernissage in Shevchenko City Garden, Kharkiv, 1989. Photo by V. Bysov

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Opening of Zh. Kadyrova’s project in Lab Garage alternative space, Landscape Alley, 2009, Kyiv. Photo from the archive of I. Yatsyk

Pinchuk Art Centre opening party, 2006. Photo from the archive of I. Yatsyk

The Anatomy of Simulacrum Project, MARI, 2019. Curators A. Sydorenko and I. Yatsyk. Photo by A. Sydorenko

or private, from big business. It should be noted that the development of the institutional system involves the functioning of an institution that will consistently implement certain policies of this institution, and, interestingly, the change of the name of its head should not affect the change of activity. Also from the second half of the 2000s, there was a sharp turn towards young art: one could observe an active interest in freshmen, but in the long run not many provided systematic long-term support or opportunities for collaboration to novice authors. Gradually there was a “depressurization” of museums, which turned towards contemporary art, for instance, the National Art Museum of Ukraine (Intervals project in 2000 with contemporary Ukrainian artists), Odesa Art Museum, which in 2017 got an impetus due to Oleksandr Roitburd. This year, unfortunately, this outstanding artist and citizen passed away. A special place of a permanent institution of support and development of all kinds of contemporary art is occupied by Modern Art Research Institute. Within 20 years of its founding, the Institute is the first government institution to conduct academic research on contemporary art. The main focus is on research and scientific-educational activities, at the same time a number of exposition projects were implemented in partnership with leading Ukrainian and international institutions.

After the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, the art system received a new impetus and formed a number of important institutions of a new type: the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, the Ukrainian Institute, and the Ukrainian Book Institute. The state has become an investor in the development of culture and creative industries with the introduction of large grant programs. At the same time, the epoch predicted by scientists and researchers of social development strategies, in particular articulated by Boris Groys, about the creative class and its significance in the future, came very quickly. Indeed, the functioning of a new type of institution required a new generation of cultural managers to grow up. The art community is a relatively small number of people where everyone knows each other, and in the end, they do one thing — push forward. For example, Eidos ADF workshops, CSM’s lectures in the corridor (from which Korydor magazine grew, which is now a powerful professional platform for cultural analytics), the activities of the Cultural Project, the residences of the Isolyatsia Foundation, analysis in Modern Art Research Institute publications, acquaintances during Biriuchyi symposiums, and many other activities formed the context where the living practice of art and management of cultural projects inspires and nourishes each other. Ultimately, the goal of all centres, clusters and institutions is to support, provide, develop, stimulate and assist.

In his speeches, Vitaly Portnikov has repeatedly emphasized that Ukraine should be the place where everything Ukrainian develops. There is no other state in the world that will more consistently defend Ukraine’s cultural policy, support Ukrainian artists, curators, scientists and researchers, critics, where books would be published and films would be dubbed in Ukrainian. For a long time, it was not obvious to the community inside the country, but now it is not so: we are rediscovering Ukraine for Ukrainians, talking about our own, thinking about our own, developing our own with all our might. Every representative and participant of the creative industries is actually involved in this process of jointly building a powerful, unique, creative community that is interesting for itself, for its citizens, and therefore for the world as a global union of unique identities. By: Iryna Yatsyk, a researcher at the Department of Theory of Cultural History of the Modern Art Research Institute of Ukraine

Practice of Metamorphosis Project, MARI, 2015. Curators A. Sydorenko and I. Yatsyk. Photo by A. Sydorenko

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SOS SIGNAL AND A SHOT IN THE AIR — ABOUT SOCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY WITHIN PHOTO KYIV 2021

This year, the fifth Photo Kyiv 2021 fair was held in an unusual format, as an international open-air exhibition at the Saint Sofia of Kyiv National Reserve. The fair was dedicated to the social theme of inclusion. The (In) visible lives exhibition featured themes of diversity, accessibility, physical and psychological barriers, finding the meaning of life and overcoming oneself. Photography reacts quickly to transformations in society and acts as a driver of many social changes. We decided to ask the four star participants of Photo Kyiv 2021 their opinion about social photography, its role in life and art. What does social photography mean to you? And how do you assess its role in contemporary art? Mary Berridge: Any photo relating to the state of society falls into this category. I believe that in modern art a lot of attention is generally paid to the state of society. Since photography accurately reflects reality, it can be a particularly direct and accessible way to describe and comment on social issues. For me, the best socially-oriented photography questions stereotypes and regressive ideologies.

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Oleksandr Chekmenev: Social photography for me is something close to people, something about honest and frank love for a person. This is an SOS signal and a shot in the air, a warning and a call for help at the same time. If we talk about the role and impact of social photography, we can give the following example: a media publication dedicated to the homeless brought aid in the amount of UAH 1.2 million. Social photography has to express itself, and sometimes it is possible only through the media. Marinka Masséus: For me, social photography is a way to express my feelings in images to raise awareness of important social issues. My photography focuses on people and their place in society, the issues of injustice and inequality are especially important to me. It is a means of communicating with the outside world on topics that concern me, and it is an important part of my connection to life. In a sense, it is my process of understanding and self-expression in the world we live in. Joseph Sywenskyj: My work is based on many years of social documentary photography and photojournalism and I do not think about my work or the work


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of most documentary photographers in the context of contemporary art, this is not my goal.

images are designed to convey the physical, mental and emotional pain of a serious injury.

What is your personal connection with the (In) visible Lives topic of Photo Kyiv 2021? What did you want to convey to the viewer through your photographic expression?

What other topics are you interested in and what are your plans? What topics would you like to raise in the future?

Mary Berridge: My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was seven years old. At first, I was scared of the diagnosis but then found out that many of the things I liked about him were related to his autism. Even though autism is a disorder, the life of people with autism often becomes harder because others don’t understand it. Many types of disability are obvious and therefore understandable, but autism is not. In addition, there is a lot of misinformation and stigma about this state. My project is designed to show that people with autism look like the rest of us; they are at the same time similar to all of us and yet have some differences that vary greatly from person to person. Oleksandr Chekmenev: I shot the Passport series in Luhansk, which is my homeland. And I understood perfectly well that my parents or we could be in the place of the participants of my Passport series if nothing is changed. This is a kind of passport of the country. I have a constant connection with this topic.

Mary Berridge: Lack of work and housing is a huge problem for adults with disabilities. There is a growing movement of socially protected farmers. They create community farms where people with disabilities can live and/or work as they see fit. I really want to dedicate the series to these inspiring communities. Oleksandr Chekmenev: I have a topic dedicated to women. This is something I have never shown before, and I am going to continue working with female portraits. Marinka Masséus: Gender equality is the main theme of my projects. Obviously, my strong feelings about this topic are reflected in my photography and will always fuel my inspiration and determination. As for the plans, I used the silence of isolation and my own struggle with COVID to write a book, that is, I went from a visual narrative to a linguistic

one, but I used the same techniques as in photography: the desire to express myself creatively in topics that concern me. Joseph Sywenskyj: Wounds is a project that I will continue in the future. Some of the people I photographed are living extremely fulfilling lives and breaking the stereotype of what is happening to a badly injured person. Healing and prolonging life takes time. I plan to tell more of these stories. Mary Berridge, a photographer from the United States, autism researcher and author of several photo books. Oleksandr Chekmenev, a Ukrainian master of social photography, author of projects about homeless people and people with mental disabilities. Marinka Masséus, a photographer and author working on gender inequality. Joseph Sywenskyj, an American photojournalist of Ukrainian descent, winner of the Photo Kyiv 2021 open competition. Interview by: Anna Savitskaya, the Art Director of Photo Kyiv Fair.

Marinka Masséus: My series Chosen [not] to be is part of the Radical Beauty project, an international photography project that aims to give people with Down syndrome their rightful place in the fine arts. The young women I worked with — Juliet, Margot, Emma, Evelyn, and Tessel — shared a strong will to succeed. They wanted to prove themselves. It’s so frustrating to be constantly underestimated. With the Chosen [not] to be, I reflect on their existence, the obstacles they face, and society’s refusal to see their potential, the invisibility of their true selves, and visually broadcast their experiences to express in the photographs limits the society establishes for them. I also try to show an inability to see behind superstitions. Joseph Sywenskyj: The Wounds project documents the lives of severely wounded Ukrainian soldiers and EuroMaidan activists. I wanted to document the emotions and moments that will help viewers better understand the often rather difficult situation in which wounded soldiers and activists find themselves. My

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NEW UKRAINIAN SCULPTURE — A CONVERSATION WITH HALYNA SKLIARENKO Halyna Skliarenko, an art expert, has published a book New Ukrainian Sculpture. The publication covers the work of eight young Kyiv artists of different artistic methods and positions. Thus, the author was able to outline the range of contemporary creative trends in which traditional sculpture intersects with other artistic practices. Halyna, for a long time in our art, Ukrainian sculpture was inferior to the popularity of painting. Has the situation changed? In Ukraine, sculpture actually began to actively develop in the era of modernism. After all, as it is known, according to the Orthodox tradition, the main element in the design of churches, which for centuries played the role of customers of works of art, was wall painting and icons. The types of art in Catholicism were distributed differently. There the emphasis was on sculpture. Among the leading domestic artists of this circle we could at least name Johann Georg Pinsel. A new stage in the development of sculpture began in the twentieth century by a number of brilliant masters like Archipenko, Kavaleridze, and Epstein. However, with the establishment of the Soviet power, and especially the socialist realism, art in the USSR was subject to harsh ideological and aesthetic censorship, where, perhaps, it was sculpture that was the most oppressed. Actually, its creation, in contrast to painting or graphics, requires significant space and costs, which made it difficult for independent works to emerge outside the official order.

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And yet such outstanding artists as Razhba, Gritsyuk, and Sinkevich entered the history of Soviet sculpture. With the collapse of the USSR and the establishment of Independence, when ideological prohibitions vanished, the sculpture faced new challenges: economic crises, the absence of state policy in culture, which did not contribute to the creation of significant spatial works in the public environment. This problem still exists today. Sculpture in architectural buildings, in the space of the city needs state support. Its establishment is not only purely artistic, but also cultural, social, and even political action. In the book, you emphasize that sculpture should also exist outside of galleries. Is its mission educational? Sculpture in an architectural, natural, living environment is a huge topic and a huge history. On the one hand, it is necessary to store the sights of the past, which are mercilessly destroyed in our country; on the other hand, new works in the environment must carry with them and capture certain values of the present. We are talking not only about which historical characters we erect pedestals to today, but also about those aesthetic, artistic, associative, and metaphorical meanings that artefacts carry with them in the environment. The point is not to impose, not to teach culture, it is impossible to do it artificially, but to expand the artistic space, to make it more diversified, meeting the needs of the time. The works of the sculptors presented in the book are in demand abroad. What drives this interest?


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Does the level of Ukrainian sculpture correspond to that of the West? The creativity of Ukrainian artists, their way of vision, imagination, originality, and individuality attract the audience, both our local, domestic and Western. However, there are many problems here as well. In particular, there’s a lack of proper material and technical base. Often, our artists do not have the ability to fulfil the volume and the scale that would satisfy the requirements of Western customers. Moreover, there are no technologies that have existed in the West for a long time. Today, world art has such fantastic opportunities, which, unfortunately, we can only dream of. It is enough to look at contemporary art forums, festivals, large exhibitions to see not only the scale of creative thinking but also the scale of artistic practices themselves. In this, we are lagging behind. The book New Ukrainian Sculpture presents very different artists. For example, those, who like Dmitriy Grek continue the traditions of early modernism, where, in one way or another, the main image remains that of a human being; or those, who like Egor Zigura actualize the heritage of ancient plastic arts in the modern world; or those, who like Daniil Shumikhin analyze through their works the experience

of constructivism of the 1920s that resonates with the so-called Soviet modernism of the 1960s… Probably the most famous in Ukraine today works of Nazar Bilyk open new images full of a variety of cultural and artistic associations, the intersection of traditional plasticity and conceptual art. And the graceful sculptural objects of Vitaliy Protosenya send us to the world of oriental art, which is meditative and harmonious… Completely different are the works by Oleksii Zolotariov, where frank sociality is combined with the author’s interpretation of the traditions of world sculpture of the twentieth century; or the works by Ilya Novgorodov, demonstrating the “other” language of sculpture — light, full of silhouettes, where light, contour and the imagination of the viewers themselves play an important role. The works of Petro Gronsky, existing on the verge of abstraction and objectivity, in their own way reveal the features of urban perception, thinking, and aesthetics… What is the demand for sculpture among collectors? Sculpture has always been presented at Ukrainian exhibitions. It is worth remembering the tradition of Sculptural Salons, which was demonstrated at one time in the Ukrainian House and then in the Art

Arsenal. Even now, in particular, the art centre M17 in Kyiv programmatically holds exhibitions and competitions of contemporary sculpture. As for the collections, they, fortunately, are becoming more and more popular. Moreover, the creation of private sculpture parks becomes a common practice. This is a great initiative that needs support and dissemination. Does it make any sense to expect orders from the state? Unfortunately, it is useless to expect anything from the state today. As we can see, neither culture in general nor art in particular falls into the circle of its interests. Let us recall at least the endless talks about the creation of a museum of contemporary art, which for several decades has remained another “impossible project”… Today, art is a matter of private initiatives, of people interested and in love with art, of those who understand its significance, have a personal need for it and want to share it with others. Fortunately, there are such people and I hope that their number will increase. Interview by: Kateryna Honchar Illustrations from the book New Ukrainian Sculpture

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COMPENSATION FOR COPYRIGHT

INFRINGEMENT The annual Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is New York’s most fashionable event, a starry night for anyone related to the fashion world. It is also a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which is always timed to coincide with a new exhibition at the museum. In 2015, American singer Katy Perry appeared on the red carpet in a dress by Moschino. Everyone but Brooklyn street artist Joseph Tierney (pseudonym Rime) liked it. On the dress, he saw the eyes, painted by him on a wall of a building in Detroit in 2012. The artist’s lawsuit against Moschino (Joseph Tierney vs Moschino SpA et al) stated that the use of a print depicting his work infringed his copyright. In May 2016, the parties reached a confidential agreement on the settlement of the dispute. Artists are increasingly paying attention to the use of their work by others without permission. Can copyright protection be effective in Ukraine and what compensation can be obtained for infringement?

For a work to be protected by copyright, two basic requirements need to be met: its creative character (originality) and expression in a tangible form (for example, on paper, canvas, wall, etc.). Copyright gives the author the opportunity to determine the conditions of use of their work and receive property benefits from it. The benefit can be obtained not only from the use and disposal of the copyright but also from compensation for losses, including lost profits. Since independence, Ukrainian legislation on the amount of compensation has been repeatedly changed. On December 23, 1993, the first version of Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights” No. 3792-XII (hereinafter the Law) was adopted. It introduced a rate of compensation, determined by the court in the amount from 10 to 50,000 minimum wages established by Ukrainian legislation. The fourth version of the Law dated August 16, 2001, supplemented the provision on compensation, “In determining compensation… the court is obliged…

Bread with lard. Scheme for embroidery. Source: zaxid.net

Bread with lard by Eugenia Gapchinska. Source: gapchinska.livejournal.com

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Oksana Zhnykrup. Lenochka, the Ballerina, porcelain, 1970. Source: www.reddit.com

Jeff Koons’s Seated Ballerina in front of the entrance to the Rockefeller Center in New York. Source: www.rbth.com

Artist Jeff Koons during the opening of his work Sitting Ballerina at the Rockefeller Center in New York. Source: www.rbth.com

to determine the amount of compensation, taking into account the extent of the violation and (or) the intentions of the defendant.” In practice, in determining the amount of compensation the court takes into account the regularity of violation(s), its (their) volume, the number of illegally used objects, etc., based on the limits set by the Law (from 10 to 50,000 minimum wages). From January 1, 2017, the subsistence minimum for able-bodied persons, established on January 1 of the calendar year, began to be used as the estimated amount of compensation instead of the minimum wage. In Ukrainian judicial practice, there are cases when artists have received considerable amounts of compensation under the mentioned legislative norm.

For example, in 2015, the court awarded compensation in the amount of UAH 36,540 (30 minimum wages), in favour of the artist Yevhenia Gapchynska for violation of copyright to her three paintings. In 2016, for copyright infringement on seven works of the artist the compensation amounted to UAH 58,000 (40 minimum wages). In 2008, sculptor Vasyl Borodai, the author of Founders of Kyiv, received monetary compensation in court for printing the image of the same sculpture on the cover of the Ukrainian Language Dictionary (UAH 26,250). The litigation over the use of works of fine art —FEATHER drawings — also ended in favour of the defendant, ION research and production company. The court ruled that the offending entrepreneur was prohibited from selling, offering

for sale, supplying, publicly displaying furniture fabrics using FEATHER drawings and was charged UAH 107,968 as compensation. In the lawsuit against Metro Media Capital LLC, photographer Igor Bogun referred to the fact that a photo created by him back in 2009 and posted on his professional website http://igorbogun.com was printed on the cover of the advertising and information newspaper METRO.COM.UA (www.metro.com.ua). The court concluded that the photographer’s copyright had been infringed and awarded compensation in the amount of UAH 24,360. From July 22, 2018, compensation is determined as a lamp sum on the basis of double (and in case of intentional violation triple) amount of remuneration or commissions that would be paid

Vasyl Borodai. Monument to the Founders of Kyiv, 1982. Source: zeft.in.ua

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Jeremy Scott (Moschino) and Katy Perry at the Met Gala. Source: la.racked.com

Frank Davidovich’s Fait d’Hiver Advertising Campaign for Naf-Naf, 1985. Source: frieze.com

Katy Perry in a Moschino dress. Source: glamour.ru

Eyes of a Barbarian mural by street artist Rime. Source: davidbyrne.com

Artist Ai Weiwei and his post regarding the dispute against Volkswagen on the artist’s Instagram. Source: www.wuv.de.

if the infringer applied for permission to use the disputed copyright. Such legislative changes have given rise to a number of disputes over how to calculate the appropriate amount of compensation, as money is often paid unofficially without any formalities or agreements. Therefore, authors and right-holders are not always able to confirm the calculation of compensation. Currently, there are few court decisions with the amount of compensation calculated under the new rules. Interesting is the practice of 2020 in relation to the Haha_ski project. Haha_ski is a sarcastic online comic about the life and adventures of a dog named Karl and his friends, created by Belarusian citizen Antonina Kazak in 2018. The comic is distributed through Internet platforms Facebook, Vkontakte, and Instagram exclusively under Jeff Koons. Fait d’Hiver, Pompidou Center, Paris, 1988. Photo: Christine und Hagen Graf, Flickr. Source: frieze.com

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“And what will you ask for this New Year?” Source: instagram.com, page haha_ski. September 3, 2020

“Are you an owl, a lark or a dead bird?” Source: instagram.com, page haha_ski. August 23, 2020

“Well, it’s like… September in a week, you know…” Source: instagram.com, page haha_ski. August 25, 2020

Ai Weiwei. Soleil levant, Installation at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, 2017. Photo: David Stjernholm. Source: news.artnet.com

Volkswagen advertising on the background of the Ai Weiwei’s installation. Source: hailstorm.io

the pseudonym of the author — Haha_ski. The total audience of project subscribers has exceeded 2 million people. The plaintiff found copyright infringement on a third-party page on Instagram, where 180 copyrighted works from the Haha_ski project were published without permission. As the new compensation rules were already in place at the time of the decision, the defendant had to provide the court with evidence of the amount of remuneration or commission that would have been paid in case of the official use of the Haha_ski comic. As no evidence was provided, the judges took into account the hourly minimum wage and charged the infringer UAH 108,561. Disputes over copyright protection in the art field are much less common than the facts of copyright infringement. In Ukraine, court costs often exceed

the amount of compensation that can be obtained in the event of a positive settlement of the dispute. Therefore, violators often neglect the rights of others hoping that in the event of copyright infringement they will not be held liable. At the same time, it is obvious that the more artists disagree to tolerate violations of their rights, the louder the court litigations are, the more careful the treatment of other people’s copyright will be and the amount of compensation will eventually grow. By: Ganna Prokhorova, Attorney-at-Law, Counsel at Mamunya IP (Kyiv, Ukraine), and Arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Arts (the Hague, the Netherlands)

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BORIS MIKHAILOV:

A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW OF CONTEMPORARY ART ON ITS ROOTS Boris Mikhailov is the only Ukrainian artist to have received the Hasselblad Award, an analogous to the Nobel Prize in photography. In 2008, he was elected a member of the Academy of Visual Arts in Berlin, and in 2015, received the prestigious Goslar Kaissering Award. His works are included in the permanent exhibitions of the Metropolitan Museum (New York), Tate Modern (London), and the National Museum of Art (Osaka). In 2021, Mikhailov received the highest creative award in Ukraine for significant contribution to the development of culture and art — the Shevchenko National Prize in the category Visual Art for the project Temptation of Death. Artkursyv publishes an art essay on his work.

An Indian yogi holding a Barbie doll in his mouth and creating a Brahman out of himself and a crucifix out of a doll… Boris Mikhailov is known not for his outrage or deliberate rudeness of his chosen art forms but rather for Bruegel’s attempt to approach the abyss with a magnifying glass and capture the moment. His photograph is a special space that peeked out of the gap between today and yesterday, so Mikhailov has no vulgar forms he could be blamed of. A dream of a mind that discredited itself A naturalist photographer will never show only the quills of a hedgehog (an object of study). He will focus on its body and muzzle through the eyes of a pampered domestic dog. It is more pleasant to look at a hedgehog than at a homeless person, however, there is a certain similarity between them: it is

Year 1968

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also a creature that has lost its human form. Later it will become fashionable to turn everyday things into symbols. Long before the tendencies of actionism, Mikhailov destroys the aesthetics of consumer things. He debunks the cult of things, proposes a new principle, demonstrating that he knows and does not know how to live on a living wage. The ref lexes of communism in Mikhailov’s painted photos subtly shone to the music of Pink Floyd with all facets of certainty in relation to what they depicted. No dissident remark exposed socialism more strongly than these photographs. Mikhailov’s portrait of Salinger belonged to a whole school, the value of which is that each of its representatives was able to express the unity and completeness of the robbed world, in tune with Pink Floyd’s line “Hey, teacher, leave the kids alone!”

Divergent deaf emancipation If the Soviet Union coincided with something on a global scale, it was only because it raised teenagers with growing beards and non-developing minds. The explanation is rather simple: a man endures his feelings, his bright afternoon, which saturated him with warmth, and must return somewhere, while homelessness characterizes the one-day life of a butterf ly of an entire generation. In Mikhailov, a small premature epoch has shrunk for the sake of which such crimes were committed that wars and natural cataclysms seem trif le in comparison. The Kharkiv School of photography did not stigmatize social prejudices, it ref lected all life, turned upside down and displaced, replaced, lived in anticipation of entering an empty crypt. It is impossible to otherwise explain the dream of seeing a “rotting

America,” which turned into a coin reverse for the Soviet citizens when Reagan announced an arms race. Life seemed to be reborn and devalued in an instant. On the one hand, the Soviet consumer has never been so happy, and on the other hand, he has never felt so dependent. In the photographer’s opinion, it is a sad finish to the Soviet relay of generations. Afghanistan found the Soviet command in a very unpleasant occupation. By dividing power, they completely shattered the illusion of party discipline for themselves. Externally, for another 10 years, the Soviet Union adhered to its formal order, but internally almost everyone in the “happy country” felt useless. Mikhailov marks this period as A Dream That Turned into Kitsch. In photography, Mikhailov creates our national Middle Ages, close to both Yuri German and Andrei

Boris Mikhailov acts it up

Year 1997

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Photo from Demonstration No. 1

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Photo from Demonstration No. 2

Legendary untitled photo, 1968–1975

Tarkovsky, the serpentine change of skin by Soviet civilization and its scaly suffocating bag left to posterity. Modern art makes meat from a man, clay from meat, material from clay. In the late 1980s, Boris Mikhailov is engaged in reversion, going back fifty years. As Rabbi Elijah Ba’al Shem breathes life into Golem made of clay and sand, so Mikhailov’s photographs are overgrown with details that previously could not be spoken aloud, and are often being called “modern.” Contemporary art is gradually replacing Soviet mercury in the social thermometer with its life scenes borrowed from life. Already in the 1990s, Mikhailov showed Dovzhenko’s ability to approach people, folklore, and the dream of a homeland.

Accentuated eroticism and syncretism of eroticism Transformation of the Soviet Union into its vast outer space, into which light and air return. Everything happens unexpectedly, like three pairs of Vincent van Gogh shoes. For Mikhailov, it is time to say the main word of his life that every country that is left alone with itself, as well as an individual, has two paths: past and future. There is an irony hidden in this choice that becomes a classic. Mikhailov avoids the faceless word “people,” the artist enjoys everything that gives him personal traits and that’s why addictable. One can only belong to the people, so one loses personal connection with oneself.


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We will come to the victory of communist labour

A clyster

Installation “Red.” Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2006

Like the famous inhabitant of Syracuse, Mikhailov invents his lever, creating an action opposite to what was done throughout the twentieth century, to cut a person who was equated to a stencil, from it. And if you now find online any photo by Boris Mikhailov that catches your attention, it will serve as an illustration that the lever is working. The horror of the Soviet intelligentsia is that it squeezes what was born under it and produces the same army of Urfin Jus soldiers. Awful-looking women were one of the norms of everyday Soviet life. The beauties of Soviet beaches came from a very conscious position: a man joined the Komsomol, then the party and met all the requirements of political and moral status. Poorly digested

intellectual food has a severe effect on the public mentality. An internal, finely resonant tuning fork is required. And Mikhailov signs each of his photos with a closed eyelid “one needs to wash where the water is alive.” By: Danylo Kaplan, an art journalist

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WHAT’S WITH

THE MAMMOTH? MOHRYTSIA. BORDERLAND SPACE LANDART SYMPOSIUM For over 20 years Mohrytsia. Borderland Space landart symposium exists in the Sumy region. An art laboratory on the site of a former Cretaceous quarry a few kilometres from the state border. Dozens of artists gather here every summer and work outdoors for two weeks to rethink the art of the environment, its tools, and boundaries. It is not only about landart, it is about the relationship between man and nature at a time when the expediency of the very concept of “nature” is in doubt, when the Anthropocene epoch places new accents and changes the usual dispositions. The Borderland Space project was founded by the artist Hanna Hidora in 1997 as a student plein air, and a few years later, a symposium was held with the participation of mature landartists. In different years its participants were Petro Bevza, Myroslav Vaida, Mykola Zhuravel, Vlodko Kaufman, Natalia and Oleh Kokhan, Alexey Malykh, Hanna Sydorenko, Serhii Yakunin and many others. Today, this is one of the few and the most sustainable Ukrainian art projects aimed at working with the landart. Coming to Mohrytsia is always a tangible calibration of optics and a meeting with everything that inevitably loses clarity in the conditions of “civilization.” Here the sky, usually just a piece with torn contours on the periphery of vision in the city, occupies two-thirds of the landscape all the time, with a break for a night in a tent. Here the chalk underfoot is the bottom of the ancient Mesozoic sea with the remains of extinct Belemnite molluscs, raised by a glacier to the surface. Such a space appears to be an impeccable background for the revision of the relationship between the human and the inhuman. However, Mohrytsia is not just a place, but first of all a community. Rethinking itself and the subject of its focus, it is an open structure that is constantly updated, although something always remains

Participants of Borderland Space symposium 2021, Mohrytsia, Sumy region, July 2021. Photo by Oleh Demianenko

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the same. During its existence, the project has developed into a large-scale residence that combines different artistic generations, mediums and approaches. In addition to the traditional landart, Mohrytsia participants work with performance, video, audio, and other media that allow them to interact with the natural environment in a variety of ways. Over the past few years, the format of division into curatorial groups has been introduced, where each group chooses its own reading and method of working with a common theme of the residence. This summer, over 50 participants in seven curatorial groups (Kostiantyn Zorkin, Oleksii Konoshenko, Natalka Lisova, Nataliia Matsenko, Anton Saienko, Stanislav Turin, DE NE DE) worked on the topic Flawless Material. In an effort to analyze the very concept of “material” and to understand what exactly the material is for each of the participants, it became clear that for many it is, in fact, themselves. This year, Mohrytsia was held for the first time with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. It was also an important step for an independent project, which has existed for many years thanks to the fragmentary support of local authorities and concerned patrons, crowdfunding and, above all, the almost heroic enthusiasm of the team. Funding, among other things, made it possible to hold an open call for new participants and have a rich lecture program (curated by Katya Buchatska). Every evening, under the leadership of the symposium moderator Yegor Antsygin there were short presentations of participants’ practice, which promotes communication in a diverse community, where many artists meet each other for the first time. A separate topic in the existence of the residence is its representation outside the place where it takes place, in the institutional urban spaces. Once, the art of the environment fled from galleries and institutional frameworks to work with the natural environment and materials. Half a century after its heyday, one can reflect on the relevance of long-standing questions: what happens to this art when it does show up in a gallery? Is it possible there? Does it still exist outside of a gallery? For many years, exhibitions were held in various locations in Kyiv, Sumy, Lviv, Khmelnytskyi, and Kharkiv. In 2019, the first large-scale presentation of the project took place in the institutional walls, which focused not so much on documentation but was rather an attempt to “expand” the symposium in another context. It was a Bigger Space exhibition in Kharkiv YermilovCenter (curators Kostiantyn Zorkin, Vitaliy Kokhan, Nataliia Matsenko, and Stanislav Turin). It took place in parallel with the symposium itself, the theme of which was Feedback, and, among other things, live video broadcasts from Mohrytsia took place during the exhibition.


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Participants of Borderland Space symposium 2021, Mohrytsia, Sumy region, July 2021. Photo by Oleh Demianenko

And most recently, in the last days of August 2021, the experimental project What’s with the Mammoth? ended in the Naked Room gallery in Kyiv. 15 participants of this year’s Mohrytsia presented their objects, audio, video and performances in the gallery space. What’s with the Mammoth? was built as a series of gestures with a variable exposition, which was updated every 2–3 days during the exhibition. This is an afterword to this year’s residence, which emphasized the ideas of interaction and longevity on which Mohrytsia is based. This is Mohrytsia’s sequel, transferred to the gallery taking into account the urban context. It’s a space for what has not yet been said, seen, heard or thought. During the exhibition in the gallery, one could hear the soundscape from Mohrytsia, see videos shot from the point of view of plants, “room” landart, actions in the space that blurred the boundaries between the room and the street. One could watch the grass peck through the parquet and an earthen column grow right in the middle of the exposition. The name of the exhibition was taken from a conversation between artists and an archaeologist from the Sumy region, knowledgeable in local history.

“So, what’s with the mammoth, in a nutshell?” one of the participants asked. “They used to live here,” replied the historian. He spoke of the mammoth as if it was something close and familiar, levelling the distance in time and turning prehistoric into something that can be touched not only as an archaeological artefact but as part of one’s life. As it turned out a few days before the exhibition, when the name was chosen, the mammoth bone found near Mohrytsia was kept at home by the symposium’s founder Hanna Hidora. Such an interesting coincidence could not be ignored. In the ever-changing exposition of the project, this bone has become the central and only immutable object, as a reference to a place, a prehistoric constant against the background of changing modernity. The embodiment of how Mohrytsia has for many years combined the prehistoric landscape with contemporary art, archaism and openness, permanence and constant transformations. By: Nataliia Matsenko, an art expert

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ROITBURD. TO THE DEATH OF A CULTURAL HERO On August 8, Oleksandr Roitburd, a painter and curator, poet and blogger, collector and museum director, a rebel and a man whom many various people considered their close friend, expired. Roitburd’s death is something impossible. After all, he was alive, paradoxical, and passed away so early, at the age of 59, at the peak of social realization. Roitburd’s death was a big blow not only for his near and dear ones and the Ukrainian art community. When it became known that Roitburd died, everyone seemed to grieve about him — those who knew him personally and those who read him on Facebook, saw on TV or in the museum, as well as those who heard of the outstanding artist and citizen for the first time. Roitburd passed away a respected director of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum, a leader of public opinion and a passionate figure of Odesa city politics. He came to these roles through a complex and interesting evolution — from a radical pioneer of modern art practices and a rebel, whose name has long been associated with freedom, radicalism and transgression. Roitburd entered art in the early 1980s. He was never deeply interested in conceptual practices and gravitated towards the pictorial modernist line. By the end of the 1980s, Roitburd joined the Kyiv circle of trans-avant-garde painters, who were much closer to him aesthetically than the Odesa conceptualists. Roitburd became the largest representative of the Ukrainian trans-avant-garde, a participant of the iconic exhibitions in Kyiv and Odesa, and soon in Moscow, where the Marat Guelman Gallery, significant for the era, was opened with Roitburd’s project in 1990. In the 1990s, Roitburd became the informal leader of the artistic life of Odesa and the guru of a whole generation of young artists, curators, and art critics. He acted as a link between the residents of Odesa and the Paris Commune in Kyiv, was active in the newly created Odesa art institutions. He continued to engage in postmodern painting and experiments with new media for post-Soviet art — installation, performance, video art. At the same time, he became one of the brightest curators, the author of a number of visionary projects that have defined the face of contemporary art in Ukraine. In the late 1990s, Roitburd left Odesa and spent some time in the USA. However, in 2002, he became the director of the Marat Guelman Gallery in Kyiv. Over time, he began to live in two cities, plying between the capital and his native Odesa till his last days. In the second half of the 2000s, contemporary art in Ukraine was booming, and the generation

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of the New Wave (Oleksandr Roitburd, Olexander Gnilitsky, Vasyl Tsagolov, Oleg Tistol, Arsen Savadov, Igor Gusev, Illya Chichkan, etc.) became the most institutionally and market-demanded. Almost all artists of this circle went through a similar transformation, abruptly moving from various kinds of experiments to commercial painting creation. In the early 2010s, Roitburd remained the central figure of Ukrainian art, but gradually his other sub-personality — that of a politician and a leader of public opinion — began to come to the fore. At the peak of the 2013 Revolution, Roitburd read poems by Ivan Franko and John Keats from the stage to a huge crowd. He was one of the first to support the protests, became an active participant in the events of 2013–2014 and genuinely resented the hybrid war and Russian attempts to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. Many were irritated by his patriotism. In 2017, Roitburd made a decision that again radically changed his life — to run for the post of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum director. By the time Roitburd got there, both the building and the collection were in a deplorable state. Morally, the museum got stuck somewhere in the middle of the twentieth century. Roitburd’s attempts to modernize the museum faced resistance from the onset. And his most serious enemies were not art critics, but the pro-Russian politicians, for whom the pro-Ukrainian activist Roitburd at the head of the Odesa museum became the reason for a political scandal. In his life “before” the museum, Roitburd loved everything strange, paradoxical, and perverse. In his life “after”, he became more restrained. A traditional museum is so rigid in nature that it can turn even the most radical reformer into a conservative. Roitburd was always interested in Jewish culture, though he was not devout. Rather, he was, but in a specific way, with playfulness and ability to be on an intimate footing with large and serious topics, to mix different traditions without fear, finding something lively and interesting in each of them. He was in his element both in the closed community of bohemian artists, and among politicians, journalists, advertisers, and churchmen. Having discovered the power of new media, Roitburd threw himself into Facebook with all his passion. Almost instantly, he became an influencer and captured the attention of tens of thousands of people who loved and hated him for his witty, emotional, not always balanced, but always very relevant posts. Roitburd was a sage. In some other life, he might well have become famous as a spiritual teacher.


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Roitburd had many spiritual children — from young artists, DJs, and curators to politicians, journalists, and businessmen. He rarely gave a moral sermon but rather taught something more important and complex — freedom, paradox and overcoming boundaries. Roitburd was also a hedonist. He loved red wine and comfort. Everyone who visited his studio entered a completely unique space where the artist lived and worked at the same time. He was a commercially successful artist, one of the most expensive authors in modern Ukraine. This status flattered him. Roitburd was never defiantly modest. The idea that talent should starve was extremely disgusting to him. This man was phenomenally communicative. He always introduced everyone to everyone. At home, he had a real salon where one could meet both the most unexpected celebrities and marginal characters. Painting was a kind of meditation for Roitburd.

Despite being an extravert, he desperately needed those few hours of solitude to reboot. And then, with eternal traces of paint on his hands, he returned to feast and talk. On October 14, 2021, Oleksandr Roitburd should have turned 60. By this date, a collection of his poetry edited by Serhiy Zhadan, as well as a book of memoirs about him, are to be published. Probably, there will be more in the future. I would like the memory of the unique Odesa citizen, Ukrainian, intellectual and artist to live not only and not so much in monuments, but as a living continuation of what Roitburd began. Let the Odesa museum develop, and the artist’s paintings and media works push young to the path of experiments and achievements. And let these feats be accomplished with the same dedication, passion and wit that Oleksandr Roitburd always had. By: Alisa Lozhkina, an art expert

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30х30 CONTEMPORARY UKRAINIAN ART IN THE UKRAINIAN HOUSE From September 9 to September 29, within the program dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence, the Ukrainian House National Centre presented 30x30. Contemporary Ukrainian Art exhibition project. Valeriy Sakharuk, an art critic and the curator of the exhibition, formed an exposition of 30 works that reflect and represent Ukrainian art of the 30 years of the country’s independence. The exhibition is based on his research, which also became the basis for his book, presented at the exhibition opening. Artkursyv publishes a curatorial text by Valeriy Sakharuk. The thirtieth anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence became the subject of national art discourse long before this symbolic date. The sixth issue of Gallery magazine, published in 2001, presented a letter-utopia, wherein the author described the future opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art, scheduled for August 24, 2021. The somewhat serious, somewhat ironic text touched on an important problem that had plagued the art community since the early 1990s: without a museum, the phenomenon of contemporary Ukrainian art seemed unconvincing, unfounded, and incomplete. Who could have predicted

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that in twenty years the issue of creating such an institution would be so acute that even the infamous realities of 2020–2021, associated with unprecedented restrictions on social activity, would not prevent its immediate resolution? The problem of the museum is closely intertwined with the problem of organizing the recent history of Ukrainian art, where the main directions, phenomena and names must take their rightful place. The relevant materials are scattered over thousands of articles, hundreds of catalogues and many documentary testimonies, and yet the main source for the writing are the works themselves. Thirty of them, multiplied by thirty years of the country’s history, were included in the project of the same name dedicated to the anniversary. The beginnings of contemporary Ukrainian art date back to the late 1950s. Since then, it has developed contrary to official ideology, serving as an alternative to form, the processes of thinking and feeling. The decisive break came in the second half of the 1980s when the “perestroika” generation destroyed the unspoken status quo that existed in culture and opened a new stage, which continues to date. The “storm and stress” period gave rise to classic


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examples of modern art, namely, Cleopatra’s Sadness by Arsen Savadov and Georgy Senchenko, Reunification by Oleg Tistol, Erection of a Beautiful Banner by Oleksandr Roitburd. The f lag of intoxicating freedom of creativity was picked up by students of the Kyiv State Art Institute Yuriy Solomko, Oleksandr Hnylytskyi, Oleh Holosii, and artists from other cities of the country. Without seeking support from the state, they created their own network of workshops and an independent information circulation system. Their symbol was the informal association Paris Commune, the essence of which is aptly explained by the second part of the name. 1991 did not make significant changes to the process, which had previously become inevitable. The thirty years that have passed since then have radically changed not only art itself, but also our judgments about it and its place in society. Can they be absorbed by thirty works, even the most perfect? Will the application of a principle similar to the ratings popular in the mass culture not lead to the levelling of a complex and contradictory picture of artistic progress? Of course, thirty years is too short to draw definitive conclusions. “The one succeeding today will not necessarily remain in historical memory, and, conversely, it is likely that those who are not mentioned today will appear therein,” said Boris Groys recently. He also summed up, “These are all long processes.” Choosing the 30x30 formula, the authors of the project emphasize that none of the works included in its composition, claims to be “the most outstanding”: most of them were out of active art, giving way to the socalled “blue chips” that took over the information space. The main selection criterion was the agreement with the time that led to the creation of each of them. Equally important is the historical and artistic longevity they make up, i.e. jerks, overf lows, and periods of calm or fever, often associated with socio-political changes in the country. Their sum gives not so much a comprehensive as an emotional and figurative idea of contemporary Ukrainian art of the last thirty years. Behind each work, there is an outstanding personality, associated with the uniqueness of manner, style and even the whole artistic direction. Some have remained forever in the past — Oleh Holosii, Mykola Trokh, Fedir Tetianych, Oleksandr Hnylytsky, Stas Voliazlovsky, Oleksandr Roitburd. This martyrology can be continued by the names of those who,

due to limitations, were not included in the project. The works of some formed the image of the radical 1990s; others expose the confusion of the 2000s; the bias of the 2010s found expression in the works of artists of this decade. Moving past them, we can once again see the advantages of the visual narrative over the verbal: the texts that accompany them only comment on what is seen. Each work enters into a dialogue with the previous one and the following one, creating islands of unexpected connotations: Good by Oleh Holosii begins a discussion around the phenomenon of painting, which involves Tiberius Silvashi, Sergei Panich, Oleksandr Roitburd, Arsen Savadov, Alexander Gnilytsky; Yuriy Solomka’s Prophet is developed in the so-called Crucifixion by Vasyl Tsaholov. An important role in the story told by the project is played by pauses, which allow us to stop, look around, pay attention to what does not fit into the superficial interpretation of relevance: such are the works of Fedir Tetianych, Mykola Malyshko, Viktor Sydorenko. We start with a belated debt to the most underestimated Ukrainian artist of our time; the second one testifies to the timelessness

of true artistic values; the third one revises the past, the rudiments of which are still firmly embedded in the collective memory. Horizontal, linear connections between individual works intersect with vertical ones, due to the time of their birth. Artists are often ahead of the time: Oleg Tistol’s Roksolana materialized the idea of Ukrainian money put into circulation in 1996; Oleksandr Babak’s Cossack Mamai was perceived as a call for resistance in 2004, and Roman Minin’s Plan of Escape from the Donetsk Region prophetically foresaw the consequences of the war in the East. The eerie vision of the future — a rather sinister depiction of 2020 by Denis Salivanov — completes the project. We do not know whether the artistic marker of 2021 has already been created but we are sure that it will belong to the next segment of national history and art. By: Valeriy Sakharuk, an art critic, curator

Vasily Tsaholov. Rhythmic Gymnastics, colour print, 1997. Courtesy of the Abramovych Foundation

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KHRESHCHATYK IN MANHATTAN. UKRAINIAN PAST OF SUPREMATISM IN MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, New York (MoMA) is one of the earliest and most important museums of modern art in the world. The MoMA idea was developed in 1929, mainly by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller Jr. The museum’s collection includes works by artists without whom it is impossible to imagine the art of the twentieth century, among them there are works by Ukrainian artists Kazimir Malevich, Aleksandra Ekster, Alexander Archipenko, and Ivan Kliun. The sleeping world, covered with white wax, this work alone represents Malevich as the greatest follower of Ostwald’s philosophy. Malevich did not trust the word, the main biblical story of the origin of life, considered it not the beginning but the consequence of the mind that woke up in a man whose life began due to impetus, to biocurrents. He understood this intangible substance as part of the tail of energy that once took off as a result of the origin of the Universe. Wilhelm Ostwald was a scientist who invented both the explosives that glorified Germany and the artificial language Ida based on Esperanto, and the Pal system, which made a 2.5 thousand colour catalogue, known to every designer today.

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Wilhelm Ostwald was not only a methodological pedant; he also offered his version of the Bible. The concept voiced by the scientist gained popularity under the name Energetics and, naturally, could not leave indifferent such artists as Malevich who sought theoretical support. Bringing the Cartesianism of Leibniz and Descartes to the idea of the origin of the world from the energy impulse, Ostwald gave reason to think that in the twentieth century an alternative to religion and atheism was found. The great apostle of this alternative will be Malevich. Malevich’s first personal experience of rapid industrial growth which began with Witte’s reforms is connected with Ukraine. And the country will forever remain for Malevich the embodiment of an intense, beautiful, prosperous kingdom of productive forces, speaking the language of Marxism (there is some higher justice that Supremacist Composition 1 is stored in the Art Arsenal). The founder of the Rockefeller Museum of Modern Art was also not guided by a single reputation component, allocating funds to his wife Abby to implement her ideas. His family made their capital due to chemistry, a companion, as mentioned above, of all the main currents of new art, and he saw the success of the collection as a kind


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of anthem to this science and the potential of rapid industrial development that fed the ingenuity of scientists and the sun of the new art.

and strength, Suprematism, no matter how militant it may seem, aimed at a friendly atmosphere of favourable peace.

Friendly Atmosphere of Favourable Peace Returning from Berlin, where special attention was focused on him, Malevich realizes that everything that seemed inflected and looked stale turned into a system, so in Berlin, he leaves his archive, a part of which will later become the property of the New York Museum of Modern Art. For the first two years after overcoming the temptation to emigrate, Malevich taught in Kyiv. Then, justifying the fame of the European-oriented artist, he agreed to the first exhibition of his life. The same year when the Museum of Fine Arts is closed (if this had not happened, MoMA would have known a competitor not only in the form of London Tate Modern and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne), the new civilization of communism holds a personal exhibition-retrospective of Malevich in the Tretyakov Gallery. When MoMA hosts his posthumous retrospective, Malevich will be represented like a forgotten artist, in whose art innovation and amateurism have blurred boundaries and create a visible landscape of life, where a thought develops and oxygen is produced for it. The artist himself felt like a seeker, an innovator of the pictorial language of material renewal. For Malevich, Suprematism was a distinctive phenomenon, born of the fracture, the flame of the tail of a resurrected bird, the Phoenix. Bowing before power, greatness,

Impressionist Mosaic of Serenity Suprematism is softer than it may seem at first glance. It marked a century in which nothing of the usual materials remained. The insufficient presence of architecture in the circle of suprematists bothered Malevich. Alexander Archipenko became the number one name because in sculpture he managed to express the pervasive nature of the avant-garde. Seventeen years before his Berlin triumph, Malevich had an opportunity to be presented in the Salon des Indépendants on an equal footing with Picasso, Braque and Derain. Aleksandra Ekster and Alexander Archipenko were also present there with their works. The exhibition of the Salon des Indépendants that year resembled a vase of exotic fruits from distant tropical countries, to the taste of which the audience is gradually becoming accustomed. Another suprematist, also a student of the Kyiv School by his artistic pedigree, Ivan Kliun, remained both a purist and a suprematist. Kliun was completely free of the main sin, hated by the Suprematists — caution. The main enemy of the Suprematist, the art critic, dissolved in Kliun with the innovation of his game with a plot, logic, consistent subordination of the form to some hidden hint. If Malevich needed it, Malevich spoke directly. Kliun is allegorical and strikingly silent

and secretive. He also has a kind of suprematic negligence, not characteristic of Malevich. In this aspect, Kliun is a greater suprematist than Malevich, who constantly undercuts his art with his parable. Malevich’s Cubism is lyrical and diverse, and his Futurism fits into Italian one, which takes him as an equal in the cradle of fashion, kitsch and stained glass mosaic. The audience in Paris has not yet cooled down from the seasons of Diaghilev, who presented Vrubel in 1906. At the same time, when Vrubel made his beautiful and bright debut in Paris, the little-known architect Archipenko is organizing an exhibition of his works in Kyiv. Kyiv in those years was an educational and humanitarian centre on a par with Moscow and St. Petersburg. America, which has become to some extent the embodiment of Suprematic ideas, has managed to accept this fire as well. Archipenko is trying different centres of European dispersion: Paris and Berlin until he leaves for eternal solitude in the US. He can be called a surviving Robinson Crusoe of Suprematism. The story of Malevich is different. Like shipwrecked letters that travelled half the world and happily escaped the fire of the Nazi Inquisition and the anathema of Soviet reservists, his works will be exhibited a year after his death in a solo exhibition. His voice, organically transformed into a new form, continues to sound today. The MoMA itself was destined to become one of the symbols of the new New York together with the Rockefeller Centre. By: Danylo Kaplan, an art journalist

Author of collages: Kateryna Honchar

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AT THE SAME PLACE AND AT THE SAME TIME WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING TO THE UKRAINIAN THEATRE DURING INDEPENDENCE At times we do not realize that, in fact, we are replicating long-dusted matrices inherited from the ugly monsters of the past that we allegedly do not want to resemble. Take, for example, the manic passion to make ratings timed to some historical dates. By the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of independence, a great deal of such analytical reviews, rankings, lists of achievements and tables of victories appeared. Meanwhile, instead of arranging the hunt for the 30 best books (plays, films, exhibitions, songs, etc.), it would be good to ask: would there be a national culture had the country not become sovereign? I believe, it is too naive to think that had this not happened, we would not have books and songs. And it’s just as hard to imagine being in a complete reservation, behind a stone wall or an iron curtain. After all, culture is ether, and in recent decades, the world has become so transparent that any idea, shape or silhouette becomes publicly available in a matter of moments. Wouldn’t our citizens have known about the Internet and used social networks? And wouldn’t many artists have spit poison of envy on Facebook? Would our playwrights, like their Soviet predecessors, have stopped demanding quotas for their works, although,

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of course, the themes, characters, and perhaps the vocabulary of their opuses would have been different? Would the actors have played worse? Would the directors have been poorer than they are today? In fact, dozens of talented performances staged over the years over a hundred state and many studio theatres would have still been born. And almost certainly, we would have respectfully mentioned the names of Andrii Bilous and Vitaly Malakhov, Stanislav Moiseiev and Oksana Dmitrieva, Volodymyr Kuchynskyi and Ivan Uryvsky, as we do today. And they would have probably also gotten their honorary titles, just as hundreds of actors and artists, not to mention directors. I don’t even rule out that ordinary Ukrainian stage workers, to say nothing of theatre critics and historians, would have constantly talked about “freedom of creativity” from the stages and newspaper columns, not forgetting, of course, to thank the state leadership. After all, even today such public brown-nosing is not considered shameful. That is why it is much more interesting for me to think about what would not have happened in our theatre had the state sovereignty not been declared 30 years ago.


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Let’s start with the fact that the culmination of an independent and truly free theatre took place in Ukraine a few months before the formal declaration of independence: on March 11, 1991, the Kyiv Youth Theatre premiered And B… Said based on the plays of Verona and La Fünf in der Luft by Sevastopil-born Alexey Shipenko. Director Valerii Bilchenko and set designer Olena Bohatyriova created a play that, by all criteria, can still serve as a standard of artistic erudition and imagination, civic courage and social challenge, and ultimately, absolute skill. After 1991, the artistic courage of the same level was shown, perhaps, only by director Andriy Zholdak, whose best performances were probably made possible only by the absence of any restrictions and taboos in the free country. In the end, the reason for the termination of his contract with Kharkiv Shevchenko Theatre in 2005 was not the mass striptease of the troupe in the play Romeo and Juliet. Fragment, but rather crossing of the “red” political lines, which had been already revived in Ukraine. There are at least two other performances, where the authorities were desperately challenged, though they of course ignored it. They are the mono-play Sin

by Mykhailo Melnyk, the founder of the Dnipro theatre Krik, and the mocking fantasy Oedipus. Dog House by the playwright KLIM, made by director Vlad Troitsky in his centre of modern art Dakh. Troitsky and his offspring, by the way, are another phenomenon that cannot be imagined had there not been Ukrainian Independence. The national art like a convincing embodiment of the legalized national consciousness is a contribution by Rostyslav Derzhypilsky. In the Ivano-Frankivsk Drama Theatre, he created stunning performances based on the works of Maria Matios Sweet Darusya and Nation, and She is the Earth, based on short stories by Vasyl Stefanyk. In all these works he was assisted by the unique expert of folk and sacred melody Natalka Polovynka, who grows and nurtures the “garden of divine songs” in her Lviv theatre studio Word and Voice. Also, it is worth mentioning the eleven Artistic Berezillia festivals heroically made in the 1990s by Serhiy Proskurnia, which is also unimaginable had Ukraine not gained independence. Thanks to the openness of borders, due to the knowledge and sociability of the festival designer and producer and the strong support of international donors who

started their activities in the country, Berezillia showed the Ukrainian theatre community how diverse, enchanting and serious the modern stage can be. However, today Western funds look less like benevolent donors but rather resemble strict customers. Sometimes our artists try to please them a lot more than the public. Although, the omnivorous and not too demanding viewers also dictate their tastes. So, just as three decades ago, Ukrainian artists often do not hesitate to adapt to this taste. Still, it must be acknowledged that the amplitude of intonations and genre registers used by modern directors in speaking of time and society would obviously be more ascetic if tolerance and freedom of expression were not established through the years of independence. It is unlikely that without the abolition of censorship, there could be, for example, performances by Maksym Holenko, who zealously introduces elements of Guignol in his practice. One will not find such a concentration of brutality, streams of artificial blood, physiological openness, demonstrative insults on stage, as the Wild Theatre artistic leader allows himself, for example, in the play Kytsiunia based on an Irish drama by Martin McDonagh. I’m not going to practice fantasies from alternative history, imagining what today’s hero would be if the country had chosen a different path thirty years ago. Although, probably, if it had gone differently, we would not have learned about the heroes of Natalka Vorozhbyt’s plays Sasha, Take Out the Garbage and Bad Roads, embodied on stage by director Tamara Trunova. These works, as well as the extraordinary Displaced Person Theatre nurtured by Natalka Vorozhbyt in 2014, are inspired by the war that continues today. And, apparently, it will give birth to many more unpredictable plots. I want to believe that truly independent, honest and brave artists worthy of these and other human plots will not disappear in the Ukrainian theatre. By: Serhii Vasyliev, a theatre critic

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WORLD

RECOGNITION OF UKRAINIAN CINEMA: A DIGEST OF WINNING FILMS Artkursyv presents a selection of iconic Ukra­ inian films, which during the period of independence of Ukraine, won awards at the most prestigious film festivals in the world The Tuner (2004) The Tuner is a story about a guy in love who suffers from financial difficulties. It is a selective adaptation of plots from The King of Criminal Investigation, the memoirs of Arkady Koshko, a criminologist and investigator of the Russian Empire. In her film, director Kira Muratova, a legend of Ukrainian cinema, portrays her characters as grotesque — they seem to exist out of time. In the film, there are mixed styles and eras of decor, interiors, costumes, and hairstyles. The film won the main prize at the 5th International Film Festival of Central and Eastern European Films in Wiesbaden and became a non-competitive participant in the Venice Film Festival. Cross (2011) Cross is a short film directed by Maryna Vroda, which won the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in the short film category. The film is a joint project of Ukraine and France. The shooting took place in September 2010 and lasted about a week. Only non-professional actors were involved, which allowed staying within the budget of EUR 3.5 thousand. According to Maryna’s definition, Cross is a collective recollection of physical education lessons at school and at the same time, under the guise of a metaphor, a question to each viewer: where is our country going? The Tribe (2014) This title is given to the film from which one can start the countdown of the “new Ukrainian wave” in Ukrainian cinema. It is the debut directorial work of Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, a collaboration of Ukraine and the Netherlands. The world premiere of the film took place on May 21, 2014, at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film won the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique. The film has been in the distribution of dozens of countries and has been presented at over a hundred film festivals around the world, where it has received more than 40 awards. The film also became an Oscar nominee from Ukraine in 2018. The plot tells about the survival of a boy in a boarding school

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for the hearing impaired, where the characters communicate only in sign language. Meanwhile, the director focuses attention on the details of the socio-psychological drama, which makes the viewer feel as if in an enclave, alien, but painfully familiar environment. Donbass (2018) Donbass is one of the first feature films dedicated to the war in the East of Ukraine. The tragicom-edy demonstrates an undisguised harsh reality that borders on the absurd. The film does not have a common plot, and the director seems to be put aside: he simply documents the events without participating or giving any comments. Sergei Loznitsa film consists of 13 episodes, based on ama-teur YouTube videos shot in the self-proclaimed territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic in 2014–2015. The main characters of the film are sometimes exaggerated, ugly both internally and externally. It is a depiction of a society steeped in corruption and devastated by a cruel senseless game. At the same time, Loznitsa emphasizes that Donbass is an entirely festival film, the main idea of which is to provoke the audience to a discussion about the war — terrible, destructive, ugly, and “hybrid” as it is. Donbass won 2018 Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar from Ukraine. Atlantis (2019) Even before its release on the big screens, Atlantis became the main domestic premiere of recent years, which is quite expected, because the film was early awaited: it won the prestigious Hori-zons section at the Venice Film Festival, became Film of the Year according to the Kinokolo National Film Critics Award, received awards at film festivals in Odesa, Tokyo, France and became an Oscar nomination from Ukraine. The events of the film take place in the near future in the Donbas after the war. According to the plot, Ukraine won, but the fighting has left an irreparable mark in the East of the country: the mines are flooded, rivers and land are contaminated. The director Valentyn Vasyanovych presents the plot quite frankly and without naive illusions as if spying on the reality of the people left to live among the ruins. It is significant that there are no professional actors in Atlantis. On the screen, there are people personally affected by the tragedy of the recent


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Filming of Bad Roads. Photo from svoi.city

history of Donbas — ATO veterans, volunteers, soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Bad Roads (2020) This film is a winner of the Venice Film Festival, an Oscar nominee and a three-time winner of the Kinokolo National Film Critics Award. It is an adaptation of a Ukrainian play — the Bad Roads drama by Natalka Vorozhbyt, the author of the To Catch the Kaidash series and the Cyborgs film. Interestingly, the premiere of the play of the same name first took place at the Royal Court Theater in London, where it was staged in 2017, and shortly afterwards the play was shown in Ukraine, at the Kyiv Academic Theater of Drama and Comedy on the Left Bank of the Dnipro River. Later, the idea to turn the play into a full-length film appeared. Within a few years, a creative team was formed around the project with the financial support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. The Bad Roads film consists of separate short stories with different characters who live

in the Donbas. The five broken roads are five stories of love and hate. Mostly, the action takes place in the occupied territories, where explosions are heard, however, there is one story in the peaceful context of events, unfolding on the other side of the contact line. The Earth is Blue as an Orange (2020) Iryna Tsilyk’s film won an award for directing at the main independent film festival Sundance, won the Grand Prix of the jury in the category of documentary film of the 47th International Film Festival at SIFF. The film tells about the life of a family from the town of Krasnohorivka in the Donbas “red area”, which suffered the most from the shelling. Despite all the extreme trials like life in the basement, etc., the main characters do not lose hope and even try to make a movie about sinister events themselves. The film raises the theme of childhood during the war, the theme of solidarity and humanity, and all this is aligned with the impeccable work of the camera-man Vyacheslav Tsvetkov,

A scene from Donbass. Photo from cinema.in.ua

A scene from The Tribe. Photo from dzygamdb.com

simply showing the landscapes and life of a small town in the Donbas. Stop–Earth (2021) The film is a sensual autobiographical drama about the study of one’s own identity. The world premiere took place at the 71st Berlin Film Festival, where Ukraine received the Crystal Bear Award from the jury of the Generation 14 Plus competition program in the Best Feature Film category. The Stop–Earth film is about a story of growing up on the example material of the eve-ryday troubles of students from a Kyiv school. It is also the full-length debut of the young director Kateryna Hornostai. Kateryna was the screenwriter of the project, and the film starred non-professional teenage actors, with whom the director worked in the acting laboratory in the fall of 2019. By: Viktoria Kulikova, an art expert, the art director of ABRAMOVYCH.ART contemporary art platform

A scene from The Earth is Blue as an Orange. Photo from uk.wikipedia.org

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30 YEARS OF UKRAINIAN MUSIC: BETWEEN SHOW BUSINESS AND UNDERGROUND In 2021, Ukraine celebrates the 30th anniversary of its independence. This is a great opportunity not only to sum up the results of cultural victories but also to look at the processes that are hidden from the general public. In particular, this article will talk about the so-called “musical underground” of Ukraine, i.e. music that represents a certain alternative to pop artists. What has happened to it in the last three decades and where has it reached? Or even this way: did the “underground” exist at all? The cultural boom of the 1970s To talk about the so-called “underground,” it is necessary to eliminate cultural amnesia and recall the foundation of Ukrainian music in general. What is it standing on? Something more or less modern and authentic began to appear in Ukraine in the 1970s. In the early 1970s, composer Volodymyr Ivasiuk wrote and released his timeless hits Chervona

Ruta and Vodohrai, which quickly formed the standards of Ukrainian pop songs for many decades to come and gave the necessary impetus to our artists. At the same time, a number of Ukrainian bands, called VIA in the Soviet times, began to play atypical, completely pro-Western “moustachioed” funk (see the documentary of the same name), which the then Soviet leaders did not like a bit, so they tried to suppress this phenomenon. In the 1970s, the oldest rock band in Ukraine — Hutsuly — already existed. They played heavy guitar riffs, imitating Black Sabbath and other pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, but this sound was also banned. The “ban” factor is very important. It is necessary to understand that this is the reason Ukraine did not have its own authentic music scene. We began to lag behind the world in the 1970s. We should also recall that in Britain or the United States several musical generations of “parents and children” changed in this time, and most importantly — new consumers of music and culture were constantly born. Rockn-roll of the 1950s was replaced by the hippie culture of the 1960s, which was killed by punk and hard guitar rock of the 1970s. All this time, musical Ukraine was behind the iron curtain of the USSR, and whatever was seeping through was suppressed and suffocated. New Ukrainian rock In the 1980s, in the atmosphere of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s musical scene began to improve. Authentic “Ukrainian rock” was born. A whole bundle of stylistically different bands — from Vopli Vidopliasova to Braty Hadiukiny — began to play a mixture of ethnic elements, unpredictable drive combined with unique humour in the lyrics. “Underground” was shaping along. Rabbota Kho, Kollezhskyi Asessor, Kazma-Kazma and others played rather complex and less understandable to public rock, filled with experiments for the sake of experimentation and pride more than with music as such. This incomprehensible experimentalism of Ukrainian rock bands of the 1980s is a kind of defining feature and a brand curse of the underground, which is accompanying it even today. In the 1990s, Iryna Bilyk became a success. She was the first to sing about the everyday life of Ukrainians and to gather stadiums at her concerts. Ukrainian music began to be played on television every day, the legendary hit parade Territory A appeared, and in general, all other show business took shape. Okean Elzy debuted in the late 1990s and set music standards for other bands during the 2000s.

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Author of collages: Kateryna Honchar

From the 1990s to our turbulent times Where was the underground at that time? Its representatives, just like their parents from the 1980s, were doing something very incomprehensible, and the mass audience, which only in the 1990s — and for a short time — managed to get to the national product, simply did not notice the underground. In the early 2000s, the thriving Ukrainian show business was killed, that is, russified. Seeing a new and nearby audience, ready to pay, Russian performers came to us, big Russian labels bought airtime on radio and television, Russian-Ukrainian musicals were released. This was the end of the authentic Ukrainian show business. All you’ve heard in the 2000s is the very limited number of Ukrainian bands and performers, individual success stories, and exceptions to the rules, rather than the pipeline pop projects that show business of any other country produces in bulk. TNMK and Tartak? Potap and his “empire”? VIA Gra? The names are there, but it should be taken into account that most of the pop segment representatives first went to gain popularity in Russia, and only then returned home as stars. Such is life. It somehow moved by inertia in the 2000s,

and then a number of terrible events occurred, the war with Russia began, which greatly influenced show business processes. The New Ukraine Now we are counting down the “new Ukrainian music” from 2013–2014. It was then that a new boom in cultural products began, which, unfortunately, did not pay off, as it was given too much credit. Try to recall new musicians who have become popular in the last few years. Jamala, Jerry Heil, alyona alyona — at best you will have 5–10 names. This is critically low for developed show business. What to say about the underground, which should somehow culturally argue with this pop segment. With whom the underground has to argue and whom to oppose, if the domestic show business, the popular scene resembles a ghost, which exists for some people and doesn’t for others? That is why in recent years, Ukrainian pop music is becoming more and more dyed-in-the-wool, trying to stay on the mythical pop Olympus. And the Ukrainian “underground” is becoming more “shallow”: today these are the bands that make music understandable to dozens, at best hundreds of listeners, and there’s no

extra mile they can go. There is no music business infrastructure. The music business itself is not yet legally recognized: in Ukraine, even the market for royalties for the public use of music still exists in a state of uncertainty and legal controversy. Because of this, many young performers do not see interesting prospects from the very beginning. The media will not write about you while you are underground, because the latter also does not have its own infrastructure. There is almost no media about alternative music, attempts at concerts and festivals with such music often end in financial defeat, and within the underground community, there is a lot of toxicity and hatred, both towards more pop-oriented colleagues and other underground representatives. However, it is interesting that due to the pandemic, both camps — pop and underground — found themselves in equal conditions. So, Ukrainian music and all of us have a great opportunity to start afresh and really change something. Maybe after this crisis, we will get a really new wave of Ukrainian music, unlike everything that was before it. Time will tell! By: Oles Nikolenko, a music critic, the editor-in-chief of POTOP youth magazine (https://potopmag.com)

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EXHIBITIONS THAT HAVE SHAPED THE FACE OF UKRAINIAN ART What is the modern art of Ukraine? How to comprehend the whole array of events of the last 30 years? This digest is just a way to look at developments, a chronology of program art events for the last three decades. L’art en Ukraine (Musée des Augustins de Toulouse, France, October 28, 1993–January 17, 1994) The exhibition was a panorama from the avant-garde (for the first time publicly marked as Ukrainian, not Russian or Soviet) to contemporary art. Numerous works by Bogomazov, Ekster, Epstein, Yermilov, Lissitzky, as well as modern paintings by Vysheslavsky, Khomkov, Geykok, Lerman, etc. were shown. Picturesque Reserve III (Ukrainian House, Kyiv, Ukraine, 1995) Picturesque Reserve was a creative group, inspired by Tiberius Silvashi. Its main program was to work with the flatness of the canvas, the density, viscosity and sensuality of the paint, colour as a carrier of light. The main task was to preserve the painting as an art form, hence the reserve in the name. The exhibition at the Ukrainian House emphasized the individual features of each of the artists. Revolutionary Experimental Space (Centre for Contemporary Art at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2004) The R.E.P. group was established in November 2004, and this exhibition is the point from which young Ukrainian art as a phenomenon starts. Kadan, Kadyrova, Kuznetsov, Gnylytska, Nakonechna, and Khomenko became members of the group.

Habitat project opening, 2020. Photo by Volodymyr Denisenkov

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Ukrainian New Wave. Art of the Second Half of the 1980s–Early 1990s (NAMU, Kyiv, Ukraine, September 19–November 1, 2009) The works of artists who began their search in the late 1980s at the legendary youth plein airs in Sedniv, as well as in Paris Commune squat (1990– 1994), were selected for the exhibition, namely Gnylytsky, Holosiy, Tsagolov, Solomko, Kavsan, Isupov, Vysheslavsky and others. Ukrainian Baroque Myth (NAMU, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 27–August 26, 2012) The peculiarity of this inter-institutional project was the problematization of the topic. For the curators, Galyna Sklyarenko and Oksana Barshinova, Baroque ups and downs, irony and drama, the tendency to theatricality and decorativeness were in tune with the modern society with its PR-technologies and manipulations of public consciousness. ARSENALE 2012 (Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 24–July 31, 2012) A unique Ukrainian biennial, which combined over 250 works, including 40 new ones made for the exhibition. For the first time, the Ukrainian audience could see world modern art on such scale — the works of Ai Weiwei, Yayoi Kusama and others. Ukrainian News (Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, Poland, March 15–May 26, 2013) Curator Marek Goździewski focused on the surge in socially and politically engaged artistic approaches


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and practices that took place in Ukraine in the early 2010s. The exhibition featured works by Belorusets, Khudrada, Kakhidze, Kurmaz and others. Great and Majestic (Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine, July 26–September 22, 2013) For the first time artefacts from 35 museums of Ukraine met in one space. Next to Trypillia ceramics, one could see paintings by Malevich and Kandinsky, works by Les Kurbas, Scythian artefacts, socialist realism of Yablonska and baroque sculptures by Pinsel. This project became infamous due to the destruction of Volodymyr Kuznetsov’s artwork Koliivshchyna. The Last Judgement by the then director of the Art Arsenal Nataliia Zabolotna. Premonition: Ukrainian Art Today (Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, October 9–November 3, 2014) The exhibition featured works by 38 Ukrainian artists. The project was included in the 20 most visited exhibitions in the world in 2014, receiving about 137,000 guests. Staging the Ukrainian Avant-Garde of the 1910s and 1920s (Ukrainian Museum, New York, USA, February 15–October 4, 2015) The exhibition showed sketches of theatrical artists who worked in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa in the post-revolutionary period. The Art of the Ukrainian Men of the Sixties. Opportunity of the Museum (NAMU, Kyiv, Ukraine, December 18, 2015–February 21, 2016) The works of the Ukrainian men of the sixties were exhibited together as a holistic artistic phenomenon, despite the fact that the artists worked in almost unconnected contexts and were not exhibited side by side during their lifetime. PARKOMUNA. Place. Community. Phenomenon (PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine, October 20, 2016–January 15, 2017) The exhibition explored the activities of the artists who were associated with Paris Commune Street in Kyiv, where there were squats and workshops.

Nikita Kadan working on the R.E.P. exhibition at CSM Soros, 2004. Photo from the archive of mitec.ua

Exposition of Avant-Garde: In Search of the Fourth Dimension project, M17 Contemporary Art Center. Photo from M17 web-site

Permanent Revolution (Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary, April 5–June 24, 2018) The curators, Alisa Lozhkina and Konstiantyn Akinsha, have created a retrospective of Ukrainian art over the past 30 years and organized it as a European museum project. One could see the works from the classics of modern art like Roitburd and Savadov to the creations of Chichkan and Belov. Special Fund: Repressed Art (Odesa Art Museum, Odesa, Ukraine, September 21–November 27, 2018) Over 30 names of famous and forgotten artists, whose works in 1937 seemed to have been erased forever from the history of Ukrainian art. The fate of the authors was tragic, many of the artists presented were shot or imprisoned; only those who left Ukraine in time or radically changed their creative style managed to survive. On the front line (Mexico City, Mexico, September 2019–January 2020) This project focused on contemporary art and documentary film. It was also the first major show by Ukrainian artists and directors in Latin America to demonstrate interpretations of the critical political and cultural situation in Ukraine.

The name of the exhibition is a metaphor for the numerous trials and turbulences that Ukraine has had to face over the last century. The exhibition consists of works by 22 Ukrainian artists working with various media. Forbidden Image (PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine, June 28–December 27, 2019) The project was dedicated to Boris Mikhailov, whose work has always balanced between political and social norms of an image, as well as told about the Kharkiv School of Photography. Ukrainian pavilion within the Expo 2020 Dubai (Dubai, UAE, October 1, 2021–March 31, 2022) For the first time, the global project Expo 2020 Dubai will show a full-fledged Ukrainian pavilion, within which the art project Ellipsis will take place. Ukrainian pavilion within NordArt 2021 (Büdelsdorf, Germany, June 5–October 11, 2021) NordArt is one of the largest annual exhibitions of contemporary art in Europe. Ukraine became the central focus country in 2020, but due to quarantine, the event was postponed for a year. The theme of the Ukrainian pavilion — Borders of Reality — is represented by the works of 22 artists.

Between fire and fire. Ukrainian Art Now (Sem­ per­depot, Vienna, Austria, September 20–October 8, 2019)

By: Anna Avetova, an art manager, curator

Premonition: Ukrainian art today art exhibition, Saatchi gallery in London. Photo from zn.ua

View of Permanent Revolution exhibition with an installation by Zhanna Kadyrova and the work of Oleg Tistol and Mykola Matsenko from Natsprom project, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2018, Courtesy of the Zenko Foundation

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ART REGIONS:

PARKHOMIVKA ART MUSEUM

The cultural sphere today needs non-standard approaches, the creation of new cultural formats of interaction between traditional museum spaces and the audience. For many regional museums, the only way out is to form a new cultural demand among the younger generation and to awaken their interest and love for culture and art. In modern realities, the “storage” function of the museum is somewhat blurred. The problem of museum-visitor feedback must be solved through the active presence of the institution in social networks and the media. Besides, for the development of museums, cooperation with tourism is extremely important, since it affects the development of the region as a whole. The development strategy of the Panas Luniov Parkhomivka Museum, worked out by Ukrainian public figure Mykola Davydiuk with a team of cultural managers, includes all available modern methods of supporting cultural institutions. This is a successful case of how youth can help the regions of Ukraine to develop. Until recently, few people knew that in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, there is a museum with a collection that is not inferior to many European ones. The Panas Luniov Parkhomivka Historical and Art Museum was founded on the initiative of a school history teacher in 1955 in the village of Parkhomivka, Krasnokutsk District, Kharkiv Region. Today, the museum houses a unique collection of about three thousand works of art, which makes it one of the best rural museums in Ukraine. The main fund of the Museum consists of works of painting, graphics, sculpture, both Ukrainian and Russian, and Western European art of the XVIII-XX

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centuries. Among the most valuable objects are engravings by Giovanni Piranesi, works by Pablo Picasso, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Ilya Repin, Ivan Aivazovsky, Taras Shevchenko, Alexandre Benois, and others. The collection also has objects of decorative and applied art, including ancient Egyptian sculpture and works from ancient India, Japan, China; tools and weapons of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages; ancient costumes, coins, icons of the XVII-XIX centuries, which students of Luniov collected in neighbouring villages. The activities of the school museum were supported by Kharkiv artists, the Union of Artists of the USSR, Kharkiv Art and History Museums, as well as prominent artists — Vladimir Favorsky, Sergey Konenkov, Yevgeny Vuchetich, Vasyl Kasiyan, Ivan Yizhakevych and others. In just five years, the Parkhomivka Museum, created on a voluntary basis by a village teacher and his students, has become a kind of cultural and educational centre of the region and was known far beyond Ukraine. Realizing that regional museums are going through a very difficult period today and personally visiting Parkhomivka during the pandemic, Mykola Davydiuk decided to initiate the renewal of the region’s philosophy. To draw attention to the unique museum collection, starting in 2020, he, together with a team of like-minded people — the Projector project — turned to popular leaders, bloggers, artists, art dealers, galleries and show business representatives, updating the public perception of museums on the example of the Parkhomivka Museum.


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Thus, the main models of museum communication — aesthetic, dialogical, information-communicative, and interdisciplinary, etc., have been updated with the help of mass media and modern approaches to the strategic development of cultural institutions. The creative team also aimed to push the economic and cultural development of the region. So, today a part of the road to the Museum has been built, and next year it is planned to overhaul roads from Kharkiv and Poltava regions. Several cultural and public events are planned to attract business initiatives to the region to establish a f low of tourists. Already today, the museum has an increasing number of visitors who finally learned that Italian Piranesi, Spanish Picasso and Ukrainian Malevich can be seen in Ukrainian villages. To improve the security of unique works of art, the international company Ajax Systems has installed a security system in the Museum free of charge. Mykola Davydiuk’s team changed the main traditional approaches to the development of museum work. On a volunteer basis, they quickly formed a new museum brand: “Art is closer than you think!” An open student competition to create a visual component of the Museum was organized, museum exhibits were photographed and a modern website was developed. Balbek Bureau, the top international studio of architecture and design, has developed a design project for the Museum that meets the modern requirements of the art space. And Epicentr Company has already financed the start of repairs in the museum premises. Also, at the initiative of the volunteer group, the Museum’s exposition is being renewed today: contemporary artists, collectors, art dealers and gallery owners were called to donate their works of art to the museum’s collection, and many of them have already responded. Mykola Davydiuk presented a work of Maria Prymachenko from his own

collection. Ivan Marchuk, Anatoly Kryvolap, Sasha and Illya Chichkan, Anatol Galyczkyj, Artem Prut, Natalia Korf-Ivanyuk, Oleksiy Ivanyuk, Petro Lebedynets, Mykhailo Tymchuk, Sergiy Maidukov, Anton Logov and about thirty other artists also donated their works to the Museum’s collection. Art dealer Igor Abramovich also joined the campaign and donated Roman Minin’s work. One of the most important steps was the creation of a modern English-language audio guide for the Museum. Writers and translators joined the Team, describing hundreds of museum exhibits. Well-known singer Alina Pash and writer Serhiy Zhadan became the “brand voices” of the audio guide. Now any foreign tourist will be able to listen to the unique history of the museum and get acquainted with its collection. Mykola Davydiuk, the head of the initiative group for visibility and popularization of the museum in Parkhomivka, showed a deep, thoughtful and at the same time intuitive approach to creating a strategy for the development of the museum as a regional tourist centre. Under his leadership, in cooperation with the Projector project, the Museum received a new identity, an up-to-date communication strategy and a line of branded products. According to the Museum’s management, the f low of visitors has already tripled, increasing by 50% each month. The key role in the strategy of creating a successful model of development for Ukrainian regions by means of culture belongs to the museum. It becomes the “starting point” for restoring the infrastructural and economic condition of the territories. Undoubtedly, the process of development of the Parkhomivka Museum will continue step by step. This path has already begun and it is going in the right direction. By: Anastasiia Goncharenko, an art expert, curator

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SYMBOLIC

INTENTIONS IN THE VISUAL ART OF MODERN

UKRAINE

Freed from the ideological pressure of socialist realism, from the time of independence, Ukrainian art began to move towards innovative experiments, conceptualization, and symbolism, which opposed the purely realistic principle of depiction. At the same time, symbolism is understood as a much larger phenomenon than just an artistic direction originating in the nineteenth century. According to researchers of primitive art, we have good reason to believe that the Palaeolithic images of animals were far from just a mimetic ref lection, but performed magical-ritual and symbolic functions and were inextricably inscribed in the life chain: myth — symbol — ritual. In this context, the modern dialogue with the world of totem images conducted by Mykola Zhuravel, creating archaic gesso images of sacred bulls and cows, which refer us to the sacred cults of Trypillia and many other cultural traditions that honoured the cult of these animals, does not seem accidental at all. The cult of fertility is also associated with statuettes of the so-called Palaeolithic Venuses, ancient

goddesses, whose images are re-actualized in the works of Ukrainian sculptors Oleksii Vladimirov and Oleksandr Diachenko. Petro Antyp’s sculpture Monument to the Stone evokes associations with images of ancient megaliths, which according to M. Eliade symbolized the power and eternity of the afterlife. According to researchers, the ability to symbolize is inherent in human consciousness, due to which in ancient times a man began to create a complex, incomprehensible to animals, symbolic world. And it is these processes of the internal activity of human consciousness, the ability to generate symbols and produce internal meanings that Oksana Chepelyk tries to visualize in her media work Meta-Physical Time-Space. The oldest written samples of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, which had a powerful impact on the further development of European culture, have also become the sources of inspiration for contemporary Ukrainian artists. Alexey Malykh’s Letters from Babylon and Marina Afanasieva’s art objects actualize in our imagination the mysterious system of codes of Babylonian civilization.

Andrey Tsoy. Cultum

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Alexey And. The trajectory of fate. Mykola Amosov, canvas, oil, installations, 120 x 120 cm, 2016

The mysteries of ancient cultures and their symbolic codes give Petro Bevza impetus to the creation of an artistic universe of his own. A naked body in the work Presence I, depicted before the mystical outlines of the ancient ziggurat in anticipation of a long ascent to the heights of the wisdom of the Absolute, seems to show our true nature, without whimsical clothing and external layers. The image of the symbolic benchmark structure of the ancient Old Testament world — the Tower of Babel — is created by Roman Romanyshyn, the Lviv graphic artist and virtuoso master. The symbolic codes of the ancient Egyptian pyramids are referred to by a dimensional installation-pyramid of the artist, created from metal plates with author’s drawings, which finds its continuation

Alexey And. The last frame. Serhii Paradzhanov, canvas, oil, installations, 120 x 120 cm, 2016

as if in an enlarged planar ref lection — a huge graphic construction —Triangle, which according to the author’s idea appears as a symbolic visualization of the model of society. Drawing parallels between the specifics of different periods of European art and the works of Ukrainian artists, we are slowly approaching the era of Antiquity, the mysteries of which became the main leitmotif of the works of Volodymyr and Tetiana Bakhtov, who deliberately settled near the ancient polis Olbia. As a master of graphic technique, Volodymyr became the inventor of a unique technique — heliograffiti, which enables a “fire” reproduction of the silhouettes of antique temples, ships and other symbolic images of an ancient civilization.

The symbol of the destruction of the ideals of Antiquity, which has always been the foundation of European culture, are the sculptural Colossuses by Egor Zigura, whose bodies seem to be eroded by time, and sometimes overthrown and defeated by the cardinal value transformations of the modern world. The philosophical searches by the ancient Greek thinkers of the main sources of existence are ref lected in the symbolic works of Petro Bevza and Dmytro Grek. Images of ancient Amazons and goddesses in a conditionally symbolic authorial manner are re-actualized in the sculptures of Petro Antyp. Visualization of Christian symbols inscribed in the modern context is present in the works of Petro Bevza, Alexey And, Oleg Denysenko, Andriy Bludov, Leonid Bernat, Roman Romanyshyn and many

Volodymyr Bakhtov. The Great Stoa. Olbia, silk, print, agora, 2001

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Andriy Bludov. Emblemata. Putti, canvas, acrylic, 140 x 230 cm, 2017

Petro Bevza. The miracle of St. George. To the light, canvas, oil, 210 x 200 cm, 2012–2013

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Andrey Tsoy. Observer


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other Ukrainian artists who use symbolic language to reveal their own creative pursuits. In the works of Lviv artist Oleg Denysenko, we find a unique intertwining of Christian, archaic, ancient Oriental, Masonic and ethno-national symbols. In his series of works, a contemporary artist Astian Rey builds peculiar mystical-symbolic mythology, which synthesizes images from various religious traditions. The Baroque era in Ukraine, along with the strengthening of earthly, sensual ideals, actualizes the use of symbolic and emblematic language for educational and didactic purposes. A modern rethinking of these baroque tendencies takes place in a series of works by Andriy Bludov called Emblemata, in which the artist, in contrast to Baroque practice, deliberately makes no explanations, immersing the viewers in the world of their own associations. Ukrainian artists are also beginning to actively turn to ethno-national, archetypal symbolic images, laying the foundations for the revival of artists’ interest in the theme of the symbol. Images from the series of works by Andriy Bludov called Voices are filled with nostalgic longing, permeated with memories of the tragic fate of the Ukrainian people.

Alexey And, an artist who first used the term “associative symbolism” in the context of modern painting, makes an innovative move by introducing into his works installations that expand the range of possible associations and bring each individual viewer to their own, individual, unique level of symbolization. Freud’s principle of free associations begins to work for the author, sending the viewer on creative journeys through the labyrinths of the unconscious. In one of his series of symbolic works, Andrey Tsoy plays with the theme of modern fakes and manipulation of consciousness, in Aesop’s visual language demonstrating the vulnerability of modern man to omnipotent and pervasive media technologies. The New World makes its adjustments to creativity, saturating it with innovative ideas and principles of depiction that modernize the symbolic images of the technological universe, but, at the same time, testify to the deep rootedness of Ukrainian symbolic intentions in the European tradition, different periods of which are ref lected in the peculiar and distinctive work of Ukrainian contemporary artists. By: Svitlana Stoian, an art expert Roman Romanyshyn. Intro, 19 x 11 cm, 2019

Andrey Tsoy. Autorrectato Con Meniere, 2017

Roman Romanyshyn. Fortuna Bona, 15 х 25 cm, 2019

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UKRAINIAN PUBLIC — 30 YEARS OF CONTEMPORARY ART AUCTION LIFE Over the last 30 years, the Ukrainian contemporary art market has gone through its mistakes and victories, with bright auction results and ambiguous sales, with mass support of collectors in some years and inattention to art in others. In this article, we will trace the development of the public market in Ukraine, the parallel participation of Ukrainian artists’ works in Western auctions, and try to answer the question — what direction will the auction history of Ukrainian art take in the next three decades? The starting point for the appearance of works by contemporary Ukrainian artists at public auctions should not be August 1991, but July 1988. It was then that the first and last Sotheby’s auction in the Soviet era took place in Moscow. The auction raised USD 2.085 million, while the total estimate of the auction was USD 796,000 – USD 1.068 million. Unfortunately, the three Ukrainian artists included in the lots list — Mykola Filatov, Dmytro and Svitlana Kapystianskyi — were not positioned on national grounds. The emergence and development of the public market — specialized auctions of art objects — could not happen without three factors: the formation of supply (i.e. a number of art objects, ready for free sale), demand (collectors) and ancillary information factors that would ensure a high status of public sale (mass media and positioning of auctions as top social events). If Ukrainian art pieces in the 1990s were numerous, the culture of collecting among the middle class was not developed. The art media was also lacking behind. That is why the first auction house in Ukraine, Antique Centre by the famous collector Oleksandr Brei, which started bidding in 1994, was forced to suspend operations. With the appearance of specialized publications like Obrazotvorche Mystetsvo, 1991, Artania, 1995, Art Line, 1996, later Art Ukraine, 2007, and the appeal to art of the famous

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businessman Victor Pinchuk (2003), the rapid development of collecting started. Due to the chronological disharmony manifested in the mismatch between the pace of emergence and formation of a number of institutions in the first decade of Ukraine’s independence, a situation was created when art objects were evaluated very subjectively and taste preferences were given to a certain circle of artists, limited by personal connections between the authors and galleries. Auction houses of contemporary art, which appeared in the early 2000s, were called upon to correct the imbalance. In 2004, the Golden Section auction house was founded in Kyiv, mostly dealing with contemporary Ukrainian art. In 2006, the Corners auction house appeared, occupying the niche of collectable paintings and antiques. In 2008, the Dukat auction house was founded, which deals with the Ukrainian avant-garde, unofficial art of the second half of the twentieth century and contemporary art. Art objects by Ukrainian authors began to appear regularly at international auctions among lots of large companies (primarily Sotheby’s and Christie’s) in the mid1990s. However, it should be noted that from the first appearance until today, Ukrainian art at the auctions is mostly not separated from the Russian and is sold as part of the “Russian auction.” The first significant appearance of Ukrainian contemporary art at international auctions was Illya Chichkan’s painting It, which was sold at the Phillips auction in London for USD 79,500. The first appearance of a significant number of contemporary Ukrainian artists at public auctions took place in 2009: out of 7 works presented at Philips, 6 were sold; and 8 out of 13 works were sold at Sotheby’s. The most expensive work of the Ukrainian contemporary artist, which was sold


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publicly, was created by Anatoly Kryvolap: in 2013 the painting Horse. Evening was sold at Phillips in London for USD 186,900. Kryvolap can also boast one of the three re-sales of the work of the Ukrainian contemporary artist: in 2014, a winter landscape without a name was successfully released at Phillips for USD 107,600, a year after the sale at Sotheby’s for USD 60,500. Two other precedents — works by Oleg Tistol (purchase for USD 8,200 in 2010 and sale for USD 15,700 in 2014) and Oksana Mas (purchase for USD 6,700 in 2010 and sale for USD 9,600 in 2013). The only time Ukrainian art was separated from Russian was the auction held by Sotheby’s in 2013–2014 under the name Contemporary East. Besides Ukraine, the countries united under the new brand included Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and again Russia. In 2015, Ukrainian art returned to the “Russian auction.” Auctions with the participation of Ukrainian art in the 2010s were accompanied by exhibitions of Ukrainian artists in London (2013–2015), organized by the Firtash Foundation. At the same time, the Phillips auction house, having changed owners, moved away from the concept of Russian Art Week and began to attract Ukrainian artists to the international pool of authors. Thus, the works of Victor Sydorenko, Arsen Savadov and Oksana Mas began to be traded on an equal footing with the works of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. The events in Ukraine related to the Revolution of Dignity have weakened the domestic art market for several years, and have seriously affected the sales of domestic artists abroad. First of all, there was a lack of information for foreign collectors about Ukrainian art in the first half of the 2010s. In this situation, high-quality support for the Ukrainian market was provided by private art dealers, in particular Igor Abramovich and Max and Julia Voloshin, who organized a massive expansion of young Ukrainian artists into the international field. Thus, the western and eastern art markets learned about the names of Egor and Nikita Zigura, Roman Minin, Stepan Ryabchenko, Roman Bilyk, Mykhailo Deyak, Zhanna Kadyrova and a number of other artists and sculptors. At the same time, the appearance of Ukrainian artists at auctions was preceded by their institutional and exhibition activity — Mykhailo Deyak’s participation in Residency Unlimited (New York) and Scope and Pulse fairs (Miami Beach and Basel), Egor Zigura’s participation in the Sculpture by the Sea biennial (Sydney) with the installation of the author’s sculpture in public space, performances by Roman Minin at the Tokyo International Art Fair and Manifesta (Zurich), selection of Zhanna Kadyrova for the main project of the 58th Venice biennial, etc. To conclude the retrospective of the public market of Ukrainian art, we should note the following: in recent decades, the distribution between the public (auction) and private (gallery and dealer) markets in the world reaches about 45% to 55% in favour of the private sector. In Ukraine, this distribution is stable at about 5% to 95% in favour of galleries and dealers. By: Denis Belkevich, an art financier and art manager, a graduate of Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York)

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THE ART OF KNOWING: A GUIDE TO

BOOKS ON ART Art criticism and art history are not new disciplines. Their history is rather old and probably even rock paintings were criticized by contemporaries from the Palaeolithic era. However, history does not stand still; some studies are becoming obsolete, highlight irrelevant aspects or are simply written in the old academic style. Instead of opening old tomes covered with a layer of dust, it is much more pleasant to read modern illustrated editions. Artkursyv offers a selection of relevant and informative books on art published over the past 30 years.

1) New Ukrainian Sculpture A book about contemporary Ukrainian sculptors, whose works adorn the streets of cities and are exhibited in galleries around the world Art critic Halyna Skliarenko talks about the cultural origins of sculpture, the conditions in which it was formed and the current trends. Soviet ideology erased all experimental developments of the 1920s and established certain patterns and stereotypes. And only in the 2000s, this field began to undergo significant changes, and the new sculpture actively entered the context of contemporary art. The publication covers the activities of Nazar Bilyk, Dmytriy Grek, Petro Gronsky, Egor Zigura, Oleksii Zolotarev, Ilia Novgorodov, Vitaliy Protoseni, Daniil Shumikhin and others. The author says, “Writing about contemporary artists is interesting and difficult. After all, they are “on their way,” there are constant changes in their art, at certain times able to deny the previous achievements, and at other times capable of opening new pages in their activities.” 2) Odyssey Tree: Essays, Texts, Photos This book is a professional story of Tiberius Silvashi, an artist and art theorist, about artists important to him, both foreign and domestic Odyssey Tree is the result of several years of work and rethinking of art. These are carefully collected essays, texts, interviews and photos from over thirty years of creative activity. The author analyzes modern and classical art, the role of colour, shape,

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and time; he ref lects on the role of painter and artist, in particular, tells about the most important artists for him — Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velazquez, de Chirico, Yablonska, Zhyvotkov, Kryvolap, Chebykin, Yakutovych… These are personal impressions, stories about trips to world galleries, combined with attention to detail and subtle parallels. The book is interesting in terms of how the artist thinks, what inspires him and how he rethinks what he sees. It is a look at art from the inside, through the eyes of an artist. 3) Ukrainian Artists: From the Thaw Period to Independence This is a large-scale two-volume study of Ukrainian art by Halyna Skliarenko, an art critic The second half of the twentieth century occupies a special place in the history of Ukrainian art. It was from this time that the formation of national art in a single national and social space began.


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was full of events: she lived with the Bedouins of Australia, walked along the Great Wall of China, lived in a monastery, met with prominent philosophers… Marina Abramović writes, “…I hope that this book will inspire and teach everyone: there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome if you have the will and love for what you do.” This book is dedicated to artists of different generations whose experience has formed a single body of themes and methods of interaction. All together they went through a creative path in the conditions of politicized propagandist social realism to the search for their own identity and means of expression. The book covers the art of such cultural centres as Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Uzhhorod, Odesa and others. They brought their unique experience, which clearly manifested itself with the establishment of state independence. 4) What Are You Looking At? A book that will explain all the “-isms” of modern art from the fountain of Marcel Duchamp to the present day For seven years, Will Gompertz, the author of the book, worked as the director of the Tate Gallery in London, so he is directly involved in the art industry. He was also the editor of the BBC’s art department, where he showed the inner logic of the art movement as a process of constant search and change. And his experience was needed to write the book

What Are You Looking At? 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. The author explains the key features of each of the artistic trends of the last century: impressionism, abstractionism, modernism… Will Gompertz structures the information and makes a convenient map for every connoisseur of art. 5) Walk Through Walls: a Memoir Autobiography of Marina Abramović, the “mother of modern performance”, a sincere story about her life and work In one of the interviews, Marina Abramović was asked, “What kind of performance do you think is good?” She replied succinctly, “When it creates experiences that transform for different audiences.” But how is one to create just such an accurate performance? Marina Abramović talks about her childhood, her first student experiments, her thoughts and motivation for creativity. This autobiography will help readers better understand the art of performance. At the same time, the publication is like an adventure novel, because the life of this brave woman

6) Visual Culture A book that teaches to see and notice the little things around and analyze them Visual Culture is not art history. Is this a study that tells how we see and what we see. After all, the visual always means something. Using a myriad of examples, from Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the Louvre to the first images of a black hole, the book’s author, Alexis Boylan, examines how we interact with images and are manipulated. The four chapters of this book show the visual as a set of mechanisms and strategies that help us identify the four questions of our lives — “what?”, “who?”, “where?” and “when?” 7) 100 Ideas That Changed Art A book about 100 events, phenomena or things that seem familiar now, but once revolutionized art Michael Bird systematizes the turning points in the history of art through time: from drawings in caves to street art. In his book, the researcher demonstrates how new tools and technologies are radically changing the ways in which art is created. For example, oil paint, which is so easy to find now, once caused a sensation. This is a suspension of crushed powder pigment in vegetable oil, usually linseed, although sometimes other oils are used. It dries much slower than egg or water-based paint. So this allowed the artists to work on the paintings almost indefinitely. Painting in nature has become more accessible, oil paint gave life to the sharp lines, a huge number of alterations and changes to paintings, mixing ash or sand in paints, to many experiments of artists of all ages. And this is just one of the hundred ideas described in the book. Michael Bird notices such details that you could never think of.

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“THE ART OF LIVING” FROM

CENTRAL HILLS: A COMPLEX FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE

The new Central Hills residential complex from LEV Development implements the “city within a city” format: it is a closed protected area with a full range of developed infrastructure, starting with innovative children’s zones and development zones for teenagers, a kindergarten and a school and ending with tennis courts, a football field and a fitness room, a mall and a landscape park on the territory. “This multifunctional complex is built around a modern individual. We will create conditions for living in balance, living in harmony with nature, architecture and art. The best service specialists were involved in the project,” says Alexander Ostrovsky, a co-founder of LEV Development. The Central Hills residential district is located in the centre of the capital, on a slope near Holosiivskyi Park, with an inspiring view of the Dnipro River. This is a convenient location: 10 minutes to Pechersk by car and 15 minutes to the Verkhovna Rada and Mariinskyi Park. On 11.8 hectares there will be 8 residential buildings of different heights and the entire infrastructure on the territory. There will be closed yards without cars and underground and above-ground multilevel parking for the cars. The authors of the project focus on “the art of living” to enjoy every moment. That is why the infrastructure is created according to the specified “around an individual” principle. Within the project, much attention is paid to art in its literal sense. The lounges of residential buildings will become art galleries; art objects will decorate the territory of the complex. Even the logo of the complex was created by Egor Zigura, a famous Ukrainian sculptor. The sculpture named Ref lections belongs to the author’s cycle which embodies the concept of radically different aspects of interaction with the world. The new work should become a kind of magnet that will attract residents. Any object in a public space cultivates visual taste and aesthetics; even more so when a sculpture is moved from a gallery to a public space. This is a good example of how a new territory can be transformed and can form a community of people with similar interests and views. Therefore, a new work of domestic urban planning—a smart, functional and sophisticated complex for creative and happy people, which quite convincingly embodies current world trends—receives approval and shelter from Kyiv. By: Viktoria Kulikova, the art director of ABR AMOVYCH.ART

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Що тільки не було обіцяно людині: країна Утопія, комуністичний рай, новий Єрусалим і навіть далекі планети. Але вона завжди хотіла лише одного: власний будинок із садом. Гілберт Честертон

A lot was promised to a man: the country of Utopia, the communist paradise, the New Jerusalem and even distant planets. But he always wanted only one thing: his own house with a garden. Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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