Allied – Kyiv Biennial 2021

 

 

 

The fourth edition of the Kyiv Biennial, an international forum for art, knowledge and politics that integrates exhibitions and discussion platforms, will take place from October 16th to November 14th 2021. The upcoming edition – Allied – emphasizes cross-border collaboration and is jointly curated by members of the East Europe Biennial Alliance: Biennale Matter of Art Prague, Biennale Warszawa, Kyiv Biennial, OFF-Biennale Budapest and Survival Kit Festival Riga.

The diverse biennial program will address various historical forms and contemporary examples of cultural and political alliances in Eastern Europe and beyond and their ability to create new social formats. Allied – Kyiv Biennial 2021 will present a series of art projects and educational events particularly focusing on the current conditions, political factors, and institutional actors that foster new alliances in the 21st century. Once again, the Kyiv Biennial will explore the architectural context of the city and the residuals of Soviet modernism – the main location of this year’s edition will be the House of Cinema.

The Kyiv Biennial is organized by the Visual Culture Research Center. Previous editions explored the emancipatory potential of the idea of the political International, and the political and cultural role of modern information technologies as well as social transformations that have happened in Eastern Europe over the past three decades.

East Europe Biennial Alliance was established in 2019 in order to propose new forms of international solidarity, expanding socio-political imagination and alternative cultural solutions. Through connecting aesthetics and politics, the Alliance constructs a different narrative of the East European region and redefines the way cultural institutions collaborate.

Address: The House of Cinema, 6 Saksahanskoho St.

Admission to all events will be free of charge.

https://kyivbiennial.org/

 

The project is supported by ERSTE Foundation, Foundation for Arts Initiatives, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Prince Claus Fund, State Cultural Fund of the Czech Republic, Sigrid Rausing Trust, and Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.

 

 


Lecture by Matteo Spanò “Notes on Radical Radio”

Photo provided by the lecturer.

Today, both in Europe and globally, the project of alternative information and communication, one that is positioned aside of mass media and social media alike – and beyond the power relationships and cultural values they respectively engender – acquires new relevance. Distributed production, decentralized organisation and collective participation can be, and have been, powerful driving factors for many instances of radical discourse and action. The question then is how these instances come to be mediated today, and whether an “old” medium such as radio can be reconfigured and alternatively employed – through a new, common understanding of its languages and possibilities – to bring about a change within the media landscape, a “third way” towards more free and open means and spaces for communicating together.

Matteo Spanò is a researcher, musician and radio maker. His work focuses on experimental radio practice, visual poetry and sound poetry. He holds a B.A. in Electroacoustic Composition from the Paganini Conservatory, Genoa and an M.A. in Sound Studies from the UdK, Berlin. He is co-founder and deputy chairman of Cashmere Radio. Together with the electro-acoustic orchestra Galata he participated in the 58th Biennale Musica in Venice. His works have been broadcast on Cashmere Radio, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Radiophrenia, WMFU, Resonance FM, among others. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the UdK – Sound Studies with a research project on Radio Alice and free radio culture.

The event will take place on December 8 at 12:00 live, the video broadcast will be available on the Facebook page of Visual Culture Research Center.

Organized by Cashmere Radio (Berlin, Germany) and Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukraine).

The lecture will take place as part of the second part of the residency of electronic music “Nachtkultur/Нічна культура”. The project was implemented within the “MEET UP! German-Ukrainian Youth Encounters” programme with support from the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ). The opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the Foundation EVZ. The author is solely responsible for the content.


Lecture by Dmytro Nikolaienko “Working with Musical Archives”

Photo provided by the lecturer.

With the renaissance of the vinyl format in the last decade, the archive / reissue label phenomenon has emerged. Soundtracks marked “first time on vinyl” or “never heard before”, rare library music, works of unknown music amateurs and so-called “bedroom producers” – all this today finds a new breath in the music world.

In the early 10s, a group of enthusiasts asked themselves: Why is there no label in Ukraine that deals with local musical archeology? In response, after six years of preparation, the ‘Shukai’ Archive Record Label was founded in 2018. It focuses on the revival of tapes made by outsider composers between 1960 and 1991, also for films and television, but which were forgotten or have not even been heard by anyone. The lecturer seeks to lift the veil over the process of working with archives, not least by formulating problems that hinder its implementation. It is also proposed to consider why preserving the musical heritage of Soviet Ukraine is important.

The event will take place on December 5 at 12:00 live, the video broadcast will be available on the Facebook page of Visual Culture Research Center.

Dmytro Nikolaienko is a Ukrainian sound-artist currently based in Tallinn, Estonia. Nikolaienko works mainly with outdated musical gear which he uses to produce tape and cassette loops as a base material for his sound collages. At the same time, Dmytro is also a founder of Muscut and Shukai labels which focus on pseudo and practical audio archaeology.

Organized by Cashmere Radio (Berlin, Germany) and Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukraine).

The lecture will take place as part of the second part of the residency of electronic music “Nachtkultur/Нічна культура”. The project was implemented within the “MEET UP! German-Ukrainian Youth Encounters” programme with support from the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ). The opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the Foundation EVZ. The author is solely responsible for the content.



Residency of Electronic Music “Nachtkultur/Нічна культура”. Second Part


November 23 – December 13, 2020

 

The second part of the Residency of Electronic Music “Nachtkultur / Нічна культура” has started. The aim of the project is to establish intercultural dialogue and engage young people in social action. The residency first took place in July 2019.

The global pandemic, against the backdrop of a political and economic crisis, has affected all spheres of life. Night culture, which only yesterday was proclaimed the most progressive, today has received the status of illegal and is under threat of extinction. The activities of independent cultural organizations were terminated, international cultural ties were interrupted, and a lack of understanding of the problems and values of the cultural sphere, as well as the lack of support from the state, confronts us with the question of whether an electronic music scene can survive COVID-19.

Given such negative socio-political circumstances, the priority of the second part of the residency of electronic music “Nachtkultur / Нічна культура” is to create conditions for continued international communication and cooperation. First of all, the format of the residency makes it possible to consider the state of emergency and try to jointly look for potential ways out of it.

For three weeks, twelve representatives of German and Ukrainian night culture will meet with the help of digital technologies, being in organized studios in Kyiv and Berlin. The residency will be accompanied by practical and theoretical seminars conducted by invited professionals, as well as a public series of radio programs created by the participants.

Organized by Cashmere Radio (Berlin, Germany) and Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukraine).

The project was implemented within the “MEET UP! German-Ukrainian Youth Encounters” programme with support from the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ). The opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the Foundation EVZ. The author is solely responsible for the content.


Culture at Crossroads: What Collaboration Do We Want in Eastern Europe?

Friday, 18 September 2020, 12:00 – 16:30 (CET), online within Biennale Matter of Art Prague 2020

East Europe Biennale Alliance (EEBA) presents ‘Culture at Crossroads: What Collaboration Do We Want in Eastern Europe?’ – an online symposium which will be streaming on Friday September 18th 2020 from 12 pm (CET). The symposium will be held in English and is organised by the founding members of EEBA – Biennale Matter of Art Prague, Biennale Warszawa, Kyiv Biennial and OFF-Biennale Budapest.

The event will be livestreamed on www.facebook.com/biennalematterofart/

Participants:
Tereza Stejskalová, Veronika Janatková, Dominika Trapp, Kateřina Smejkalová, Noemi Purkrábková, Zoltán Ginneli, Eszter Lázár, Eszter Szakács, Serge Klymko, Wolfgang Schwärzler, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Aleksandra Jach, Michał Dąbrowski, Bartek Frąckowiak, Marta Michalak

What should we expect from art and art institutions in the next few years or decades? What is their role at a time of a major social transformation? Why do we make or present art, for whom, and does it make sense to continue using the same formats and materials as before? What should art be focusing on and what difference can it make? These are old questions but they need to be asked whenever conditions are changing—and they are changing now, drastically. Without a doubt, the current situation leads us to rethink and reimagine the way art institutions, art practices, and artists operate. We ask these questions from a perspective of artists and curators who operate in the Eastern European region—the periphery of Europe. As we have witnessed again during the COVID-19 pandemic, the interconnected global challenges take specific shape in our region. How are we, the art/cultural sector (institutions, curators, critics, artists, producers) preparing ourselves to operate in the future? How should we rethink the ways of creation, production, and distribution of artworks, projects, and events?

Perhaps, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the art world will become smaller, more local, more grounded in local communities. This can be a good thing in terms of the sustainability of both: the human and non-human lives on this planet. After all, the opportunities for artistic and curatorial mobility have never been distributed equally or justly. But the notion of local can also be a trap. Under the rule of conservative governments in our countries, critical art, critical artists and critical art institutions have become extremely precarious, in some cases even directly persecuted. International connections are a crucial resource of not only intellectual exchange and finances but also of moral and political support. In what forms, formats, and mediums will this international cooperation be able to continue? How can we share gestures of solidarity with our Eastern European collaborators, partners, friends, comrades in struggle?

The newly established East Europe Biennial Alliance, comprised of the Biennale Matter of Art in Prague, Biennale Warszawa, Kyiv Biennial, and OFF-Biennale Budapest, aims to propose a different narrative of the East European region and redefining the way cultural institutions collaborate. As contemporary biennials have become an important vehicle reaching new contexts and audiences, the Alliance is designed to enhance the role of biennials in shaping innovative forms of international solidarity, expanding socio-political imagination and elaborating alternative cultural solutions. The Alliance brings biennials together to develop a shared vision and regional collaboration producing cross-border meetings, public events and working on the common agenda for upcoming years.

PROGRAM

TECHNOLOGIES AND THE WORK OF COLLABORATION
12:00-12:10 Tereza Stejskalová & Veronika Janatková: Introduction
12:10-12:25 Kateřina Smejkalová
12:25-12:40 Noemi Purkrábková
12:40-12:50 Discussion

12:50-13:00 BreakII. DECOLONIZATION AND/OF COLLABORATION
13:00-13:15 Zoltán Ginelli: Decolonizing the Non-Colonizers? Eastern Europe in Global Colonialism and Semiperipheral Decolonialism
13:15-13:30 Eszter Lázár & Eszter Szakács: Practices of Alliance Building
13:30-13:45 Dominika Trapp: Peasants in Atmosphere
13:45-14:00 Discussion

14:00- 14:30 BreakIII. ECOLOGIES AND VISUAL POLITICS OF COLLABORATION
14:30-14:45 Aleksandra Jach & Michał Dąbrowski: How to Talk about the Climate Crisis?
14:45-15:00 Wolfgang Schwärzler: Building the East Europe Biennial Alliance’s Graphic Design.
15:15-15:30 Vasyl Cherepanyn & Serhiy Klymko. Political in Content, Visual in Form: Notes on Cultural Internationalism.
15:30-15:45 Bartek Frąckowiak & Marta Michalak: Eastern Europe: Three Scenarios for the Future of Transnational Collaboration in the Cultural Field
15:45-16:15 Discussion


Чорна хмара – Київська бієнале 2019

blackcloud.info

Download PDF booklet

Artificial intelligence, big data and Europe after Chernobyl: the program highlights of the Kyiv Biennial

Black Cloud – Kyiv Biennial 2019 will present a series of art projects and educational events focusing on the political and social role of modern technology. The main locations of the Biennial will be KPI Library and the House of Cinema.

Black Cloud, the third Kyiv Biennial of contemporary art, knowledge and politics organized by the Visual Culture Research Center, will take place on October 11 – November 23, 2019. The goal of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 is to reflect on social and political transformations in Eastern Europe over the past three decades, influenced by the Chernobyl catastrophe, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the development of information and communications technology.

The Biennial’s program will incorporate an exhibition presenting the works of artists from Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain, India, Canada and other countries, as well as a public program featuring international researchers, scholars and activists. The exhibition will take place in KPI Library – a unique architectural masterpiece of the Soviet modernism which will become one of the locations of this year’s Kyiv Biennial. The events of the public program will also be held in the House of Cinema.

The Black Cloud exhibition will unite artists working with the topics of mass communication, artificial intelligence, environment and the Chernobyl catastrophe. In particular, it will feature a well-known installation “The Glass Room” by Tactical Tech collective, illustrating the mechanisms of personal data collection and the problem of privacy on the internet. A number of works will explore the liaisons between technology, politics and environment. For example, Susan Schuppli’s installation “Delay Decay” shows cover pages of the Pravda newspaper published in the 20-day gap between the Chernobyl nuclear accident and its public disclosure by the government, drawing parallels between radioactive threat and media manipulations. Other works question the anthropocentric perspective and address non-human life forms, such as Emilio Vavarella’s film composed of video fragments shot by animals.

The public program of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 will include around 15 lectures, presentations and panel discussions. For instance, international symposium “Communicative Militarism” focused on the phenomenon of cyberwar will take place on October 17-18, followed by a discussion on October 26-27 with Ukrainian experts and activists on how data is generated, used and protected online. A part of the public program called “Middle East Europe” will address contemporary historical conditions and ideological divisions in the countries of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that have become the battlefield for new authoritarianism and right-wing populism. It will consist of a series of lectures by the renowned philosophers, historians and political scientists, such as Geneviève Fraisse, Philipp Ther, Jan-Werner Müller, Sandro Mezzadra, Claus Offe, among others.

In 2019, Kyiv Biennial became part of the newly established East Europe Biennial Alliance, which also includes Biennale Matter of Art in Prague, Biennale Warszawa and OFF-Biennale Budapest.

Featured participants of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 include: Isabelle Alfonsi (France), Clemens Apprich (Germany), Arab Media Lab (Morocco), Keti Chukhrov (Russia), Geneviève Fraisse (France), Georgiy Kasianov (Ukraine), Oleksandr Kupnyi (Ukraine), Geert Lovink (Netherlands), Oliver Marchart (Austria), Svitlana Matviyenko (Canada), Sandro Mezzadra (Italy), Jan-Werner Müller (Germany/USA), Claus Offe (Germany), Niels ten Oever (Denmark), Nelly Pinkrah (Germany), Oleksiy Radynski (Ukraine), Raqs Media Collective (India), Kirill Savchenkov (Russia), Susan Schuppli (Great Britain), Tactical Tech (Germany), Aleksei Taruts (Russia), Philipp Ther (Austria), Emilio Vavarella (Italy), et al.

PROGRAM

October 11, Friday, 19:00 – KPI Library
“Black Cloud” exhibition opening

October 12, Saturday, 18:00 – KPI Library
“Час не чує, але він чекає на нас. On the nth Ground of the 6th Ocean: Ocean-Sensing Practices.” Performance by Kirill Savchenkov (Russia)

October 12, Saturday, 19:00 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“The Deregulation of Representations.” Lecture by Geneviève Fraisse (France)

October 13, Sunday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Arab Stereotypes in Western Media. Hollywood as an Example: From Silent Movies to the Late 90’s and the Beginning of 2000.” Presentation by Abdelaziz Taleb (Arab Media Lab, Morocco)

October 17-18, Thursday-Friday, 18:30 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“Communicative Militarism.” Symposium curated by Svitlana Matviyenko (Canada)

October 19, Saturday, 19:00 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“History and Memory: Use and Abuse (Ukraine and Post-Communist World).” Lecture by Georgiy Kasianov (Ukraine)

October 24, Thursday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“From Neoliberalism to Illiberalism. The Great Transformation after 1989.” Lecture by Philipp Ther (Austria)

October 25, Friday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Queer Art, Herstories and Emancipatory Strategies.” Talk by Isabelle Alfonsi (France)

October 26, Saturday, 14:00 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“(Toxic) State of Data: Data Politics and Data Policies in Ukraine.” Symposium curated by Digital Security Lab (Ukraine)

October 29, Tuesday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Is there Really a Crisis of Democracy?” Lecture by Jan-Werner Müller (Germany/US)

November 2, Saturday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Proliferating Borders in the Battlefield of Migration. Rethinking Freedom of Movement.” Lecture by Sandro Mezzadra (Italy)

November 15, Friday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Conflictual Aesthetics. Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere.” Lecture by Oliver Marchart (Austria)

November 16, Saturday, 16:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Borderlines in the East of Europe.” Symposium of the “Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe” (EUME) research program at the Forum Transregionale Studien (Germany)

November 17, Sunday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Data Sonification.” Seminar and workshop by Daniel Siemaszko (Switzerland)

November 17-18, Sunday, 17:00, Monday, 19:00 – Metaculture
“Open Call (For Opinions).” Theatre exhibition by Studio Lajf (Czech Republic / Slovakia)

November 19, Tuesday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Philosophy beyond Computation. On Evald Ilyenkov’s Critique of Artificial Intelligence.” Lecture by Keti Chukhrov (Russia)

November 22, Friday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Transitioning from State Socialism to Democratic Capitalism. Observations on Ten Construction Sites.” Lecture by Claus Offe (Germany)

Locations:
The Scientific and Technical Library of the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (37 prospect Peremohy, metro Politekhnichnyi Instytut).
The House of Cinema (6 Saksahanskoho Str., metro Palats Sportu).
Metaculture (31 Nyzhnioyurkivska Str., metro Tarasa Shevchenka).

Admission to all events is free of charge.

Institutional Partners: Biennale Praha (Czech Republic), Biennale Warszawa (Poland), European Alternatives (France), Forum Transregionale Studien (Germany), OFF-Biennale Budapest (Hungary), Transeuropa Festival 2019 (Italy), The Scientific and Technical Library of the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”, Digital Security Lab

With the Support of: ERSTE Foundation, Foundation for Arts Initiatives, Goethe-Institut Kiew, Prince Claus Fund, Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.


Opening of the Residency of Electronic Music «Nachtkultur / Нічна культура»

Public discussion «Who is dancing?»
19 July 2019, Friday, at 19:00
MetaCulture (Kyiv, 31 Nyzhnyoyurkivska street)

Kyiv’s music scene, despite its popularity abroad, remains in an uncertain position here in Ukraine. Attacks on ravers and LGBTQIs by far-right extremists, lack of adequate drug policies, precariousness of cultural activists and overall conservative public consensus destroy possibilities for asserting freedom of speech, inclusion and social diversity.

On the other hand, Berlin’s Love Parade-era drive was absorbed by reality of capitalism; the emancipative potential of the electronic music scene was used to create just another tourist artifact.

The acute shortage of political alternatives requires joint efforts of all stakeholders. Discussants will offer their critique of night culture and will also try to articulate its possible socio-political dimensions.

Participants: Lou Drago (Cashmere Radio), Lukas Grundmann (Cashmere Radio), Maya Baklanova (Tight Magazine, Схеmа), Yustyna Kravchuk (Visual Culture Research Center), moderator – Nazarii Sovsun (Visual Culture Research Center).

The event will be held in English.

Music event
20 July 2019, Saturday, at 19:00
20ft Radio (Kyiv, 31 Nyzhnyoyurkivska street)

(UA)
Acid Jordan b2b Tofudj
Diser Tape
NFNR
Sasha Very
YV

(GER)
Elissa Suckdog
Lou Drago
Lukas Grundmann
Mari Matsutoya
Ross Alexander
Wilted Woman (DJ Puddle)

Admission to all events will be free of charge.

“Nachtkultur / Нічна культура” is the residency of electronic music, which will be held from July 16 to July 28, 2019 in Kyiv based on the Audiodrag studio. It aims to foster intercultural dialogue and engage young people in social action. The residency is a “MEET UP! Pitching winner».

Organized by Cashmere Radio (Berlin, Germany) and Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukriane).

Partners: Audiodrag, MetaCulture, 20ft Radio.

Supported by German Federal Foreign Office and Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The project is implemented within the framework of the „MEET UP! Deutsch-ukrainische Jugendbegegnungen“ program.


Seasonal Works


Photo by Oleksandr Kovalenko

June 18 – 23, 2019

On June 18, Visual Culture Research Center will open “Seasonal Works” session on the territory of the abandoned Petrivska Street, also known as “Хащі” (“Khashchee,” Ukrainian for “thickets”). For several years, “Хащі” has been functioning as a community-based cultural space, a place for the development of music counter-culture, graffiti, performative arts. This year’s program will include a greenery workshop, solar batteries installation and a picnic in the finale.

Solar power station will help to achieve a partial energy autonomy for “Хащі”. The construction process will be open for everyone who is interested in installing an own home SES.

The botanical workshop will be held by Nastya Kolenkova (plant explorer, green space worker) and Nina Direnko (designer of sustainable plant communities). It will continue last year’s exploration of possible ways of interaction of people and local plants. As part of the workshop, it is planned a planting of a new species and landscape design elements, without affecting the local ecosystem. Participants will also learn how invasive flora and weeds can be an alternative source of food and survival in the city.

Nina Direnko – sustainable plant communities designer
Anastasia Kolenkova – plant explorer, green space worker

With the Support of Prince Claus Fund


Hybrid Peace

25 March – 12 May 2019

Stroom, The Hague

Curated by Vasyl Cherepanyn, Visual Culture Research Center

The very basic idea of a united Europe was to establish peace on the continent – where there is Europe, there is peace. This task remains urgent on the political agenda. Yet the EU finds itself surrounded by a belt of wars at its south and east: in the face of technological developments and shifts in the geopolitical landscape, an ongoing hybrid war is establishing itself. Unlike ‘conventional’ warfare, hybrid warfare operates through image production, private armies, cyber warfare and political prisoners. In today’s international status quo, a regime of hybrid peace prevails, where the hybrid nature of war affects political and social conditions far beyond the agents involved in the war alone.

Vasyl Cheperanyn from Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) presents the project Hybrid Peace from 25 March – 12 May 2019, staging installations, screenings, and discussions. Hybrid Peace explores the politicality of truth through visual art and forensic knowledge. Over the course of a 7-week period, the project will develop in multiple thematic directions around the concept of hybrid peace. A work-in-progress exhibition will be constructed, unfolding the concept of hybridity and its entanglements in Stroom’s exhibition space.

Although far removed from war zones, the Netherlands can now claim victims in the Russian – Ukrainian war through the MH17 tragedy. Cyber warfare means military ends are now met through the social means of image production and circulation. A surge of far-right populism has led to a perpetual state of exception for the migrants making their way to Europe through its borderlands. The Hague, City of Peace and Justice, should be at the forefront of recognizing the conditions of hybrid warfare, to imagine its alternative in the field of law, cultural production, and international relations.

With the participation of: Yuriy Hrytsyna (Ukraine), Angelina Kariakina (Ukraine), Oleksiy Radynski (Ukraine), Hito Steyerl (Germany), and Artur Żmijewski (Poland).

Emblem by Uliana Bychenkova, animation by Oleksiy Romanenko (Ukraine).

Hybrid Peace is initiated and realized by Vasyl Cherepanyn, VCRC.

Project: https://www.stroom.nl/activiteiten/tentoonstelling.php?t_id=4628020

Curatorial statement: https://www.stroom.nl/media/HybridPeace_concept.pdf

Special events: https://www.stroom.nl/paginas/pagina.php?pa_id=7661853

 

 


Visual Culture Research Center received Igor Zabel Award Grant 2018

Photo by Oleksandr Kovalenko

Visual Culture Research Center received one of the award grants within the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory 2018. The award ceremony will take place in Ljubljana on December 7.

The Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory acknowledges the exceptional achievements of cultural protagonists whose work supports, develops or investigates visual art and culture in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Named in honour of the distinguished Slovenian curator and art historian Igor Zabel (1958–2005), the award has been conferred biennially since 2008.

The jury has awarded art historian and curator Joanna Mytkovska (Poland) for her work as the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Igor Zabel Award Grants are given to Edith Jeřábková (Czech Republic), Oberliht Association (Moldova) and the Visual Culture Research Center (Ukraine). The 2018 winners will be presented at an award ceremony: 7 December 2018, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana.

Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) is an independent cultural institution based in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was founded in 2008 as a platform for collaboration between academic, artistic, and activist communities. In 2018 VCRC celebrates 10 years since the inception of the initiative engaged in publishing and artistic activities, scientific research, organization of public lectures, discussions, conferences and art exhibitions. In 2015, Visual Culture Research Center received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award. VCRC was an organizer of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015, curated by Hedwig Saxenhuber and Georg Schöllhammer (Austria). In 2017, VCRC organized and curated The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017. In 2018, the VCRC collective curated the 10th Warsaw under Construction festival dividing its program between Warsaw and Kyiv within the Neighbours project.