The opening of The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017



The opening of The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017 will take place during three days and will include the opening of “The Festivities Are Cancelled!” exhibition and lecture performance by Philip Rizk on Friday, October 20, the opening of the “Dead Souls” exhibition on Saturday, October 21, the screening of the film “Ceremony” by Phil Collins, and a live performance by Pharmakon on Sunday, October 22.

The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017 will start on the 20th of October at 19:00 with the opening of the exhibition “The Festivities Are Cancelled!” at the Biennial’s main site, Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information (“UFO”, 180 Antonovycha St., metro Lybidska) along with the lecture performance “TO GO VISITING – an agitka by Philip Rizk” (Egypt) at 20:00 at the same location.

The exhibition “The Festivities are Cancelled!” is dedicated to the memory of revolution and the phenomenon of censorship. This exhibition is necessitated not so much by the centennial of the revolutionary events of 1917 – as by the relevance of a conversation about revolutionary impulses, the writing of history, and the formation of collective memory. Among a wide spectrum of phenomena related to revolution and the formation of memory, the Hudrada curatorial group will focus on the topic of censorship.

Soviet censorship – authoritarian, restrictive and deadly – took the place of revolutionary ideas, using as cover the mission to protect against counterrevolution. Its expansion to all areas of public life meant an end to paradoxical foresight and attempts to freely design a new society. A democratic revolution allows for the most diverse, and sometimes contradictory, ideas and interpretations of the past and present to enter the public space. Its expansion to all areas of public life has meant an end to paradoxical foresight, and attempts to freely design a new society. Censorship – street-level, grassroots and state-sponsored – destroys the public space, making discussion pointless. After all, its goal is not only to eliminate undesirable opinions, but to embed self-censorship as a pre-emptive practice.

Exhibition Participants: Emanuel Almborg (Sweden), Yana Bachynska, Babi Badalov (France), Yevgenia Belorusets, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Volodymyr Kuznetsov, Lesia Khomenko, Pavel Khailo, Vasyl Lozynski, Larion Lozovoy, Yuri Leiderman, Lada Nakonechna, Deimantas Narkevičius (Lithuania), Vlada Ralko,  Oleksandr Ranchukov, Р.Е.П. group, Andriy Sagaydakovsky, Sergey Shabokhin (Belarus), Olia Sosnovskaya, Alexander Ugay (Kazakhstan), Leonid Voytsehov, Yana Volkova, (Belarus), Elena Vogman (Germany), Clemens von Wedemeyer (Germany), Anna Zvyagintseva.

The second part of “The Festivities Are Cancelled!” exhibition will open on October 25 at the Pavlo Tychyna Literary-Memorial Museum-Apartment.

The exhibition will last October 25–November 26. Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12:00 – 20:00. Monday – closed.

On Friday, at 20:00 the lecture performance “TO GO VISITING – an agitka by Philip Rizk” will take place at the “UFO.” Philip Rizk (Egypt) will present his text in the form of diary of the fictional character Aleksandra Berkman (her prototype is a Russian anarchist – Alexandr Berkman, 1870 – 1936) for the first time in Ukraine, the location of some of the historical events it references. In the summer of 2017, Philip Rizk undertook a journey following in the footsteps of Berkman’s fictional travel route along the former Berlin-Baghdad railway line to the Turkish-Syrian border, in the process continuing Berkman’s travelogue.

On Saturday, October 21, at 19:00 the exhibition “Dead Souls” by Marina Naprushkina (Germany) and Oliver Ressler (Austria) will open at Visual Culture Research Center (44 Hlybochytska St., trams #14, #18 from metro Kontraktova Ploshcha).

In the exhibit “Dead Souls” Marina Naprushkina presents a wall painting depicting the enlargement of the borders of the EU as well as key provisions within EU asylum and migration policy. The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of successful reconciliation policy. But what kind of peace is the EU brokering? The EU’s failed asylum policy often leads to serious economic and social inequalities. Winning over the marketplace in refugees’ countries of origin takes precedence over the free movement of persons. The borders are so sealed, in fact, that asylum seekers are oftentimes hardly able to reach “the safe shore.”

Oliver Ressler focuses on struggles to obtain citizenship while, at the same time, questioning the implicitly exclusionary nature of the concept. “The Right of Passage” film (2013) is partially constructed through a series of interviews with Ariella Azoulay, Antonio Negri and Sandro Mezzadra. The title of the film refers to the stages, or “rites of passage” that mark important transitions on the path to selfhood. The exchange of “rites” with “rights” suggests that freedom of movement must become a right granted to every person – regardless of his or her place of birth. In his “Occupy, Resist, Produce” (2014) film series Ressler investigates the rare cases of occupied factories, which have become a means of workers’ struggle against the closure of a production site or company, or the relocation of production to another country.

The exhibition will last until November 26. Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12:00 – 20:00. Monday – closed.

On Sunday, October 22, at 16:00 the screening and discussion of the film “Ceremony” (2017) by Phil Collins (Germany) will take place at Institute of Scientific, Technical and Economic Information, “UFO.”

In July 2017, the almost 4-meter-high Soviet statue of Friedrich Engels was removed from public view in Maryanivka village (Poltava region) as part of the process of decommunization. Phil Collins, a director and playwright, initiated the relocation of the monument to Manchester and its permanent installation in the city where Friedrich Engels had lived for over 20 years. During the Manchester international festival the crowded opening of the Engels monument took place. The “Ceremony” film by Phil Collins depicts the opening and relocation of the statue to Great Britain.

Admission to the exhibitions and screening is free.

On Sunday, October 22, at 21:00 the live performance by Pharmakon (USA), rising stars in the contemporary experimental music scene, will take place at the Institute of Scientific, Technical, and Economic Information (“UFO”) concert hall – a late modernist masterpiece, built to synthesize acoustic and visual perception in the arts. Admission by ticket.

Organized by Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukraine).

Emblem and Biennial Design: Experimental Jetset (Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

Institutional Partners: Avtonomi Akadimia (Athens, Greece), BURSA GALLERY (Kyiv, Ukraine), Columbia Global Centers | Paris (France), DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (Berlin, Germany), De Balie (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Depo (Istanbul, Turkey), Depot (Vienna, Austria), documenta 14 (Athens/Kassel, Greece/Germany), European Alternatives (Paris, France), Forum Transregionale Studien (Berlin, Germany), Hromadske TV (Kyiv, Ukraine), Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna, Austria), Medusa Books (Kyiv, Ukraine), National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Center (Kyiv, Ukraine), Political Critique (Warsaw, Poland), Shedhalle (Zurich, Switzerland), Studio 14 (Athens, Greece), Transeuropa Festival 2017 (Madrid, Spain), (Prague, Czech Republic).

Partners: British Council / Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, ERSTE Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, International Renaissance Foundation, Robert Bosch Foundation.