Mykola Ridnyi SHELTER


25 April – 14 May 2014

Visual Culture Research Center invites to the opening of Shelter exhibition by Mykola Ridnyi, which will take place on Friday, 25th of April at 19:00
in Kyiv, Petrivska Str. 34.

For the last few weeks bomb shelter location plans have appeared on the announcement boards of government institutions in Kyiv. What seemed to be almost an archeological layer of city architecture has suddenly regained its relevance. The menace of the state of exception, the fear of war, the feeling of uncontrollability of (geo)political processes have turned the city out of the space of possibilities and public interaction into a network of potential refuges. Collective enthusiasm of Maidan now gives way to the search of private safety enclaves and individual retreat.

Through the urban phenomenon of shelter – from bomb shelters and Cold War period bunkers to improvised refuges induced by fear of economic and political cataclysm, Mykola Ridnyi looks into the place and the fate of an individual at the crossroads of global processes. Political and social imaginary of today’s man, collective fears and phobias, but also individual inventiveness in solving systemic problems, are in the zone of artistic research by Ridnyi.

The exhibition is part of Visual Culture Research Center project Unrendered Spaces  and is supported by ERSTE Foundation.

Opening hours: 26 April – 14 May, Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00 – 19:00.
Address: Kyiv, Petrivska Str., 34.

Mykola Ridnyi was born in 1985 in Kharkiv, where he currently lives and works. Graduated from Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts. Since 2005 cofounder and curator of SOSka gallery and laboratory, a space organized by artists for developing the cultural milieu in Kharkiv.
Through video, sculpture and installation Mykola Ridnyi carries out his critical reflection on the social and political context of post-Soviet space. His artistic messages are often developed from combining documentary films with traditional figurative sculpture or found objects.

Unrendered Spaces is a series of exhibitions dedicated to the strategies of perception of the urban and non-urban environment, the possibilities of its exploration by the means of art. Focused on the points of perceptive multiplicity of interpreting the living space, the project aims to play out the political, social and aesthetic zones of tension in its redefinition.
Visual Culture Research Center was founded in 2008 in order to create an interdisciplinary environment for the analysis of Ukraine’s post-Soviet condition in terms of art, knowledge and politics. Since then, VCRC has organized over 150 research and discussion events engaging Ukrainian and foreign scholars, and about 20 art exhibitions.

“In Charge of the Edition”

October 26, Friday, 19:00Visual Culture Research Center presents the exhibition In Charge of the Edition by Olexander Burlaka, Anastasia Ryabova and Maxim Spivakov. The project is dedicated to the visual accompaniment of the election procedure, the intervention of the election campaign into the urban space which transforms the cognitive landscape and creates the illusion of political action.

The campaign transforms the city into the space of the obtrusive self-representation of the agents of political competition. Leading up their visual presence to the point of absurdity, a palette of candidates simulates the variety of choice as the election itself simulates a possibility to choose. According to the Law of Ukraine “On Elections of People’s Deputies”, a citizen has the right to exercise free choice of political preferences without the influence of propaganda only on the day of silence. Through photography, video and installation the artists offer to rethink such illusory possibility.

In Charge of the Edition is the third show in the Unrendered Spaces ongoing exhibition project, which includes a series of expositions dedicated to the strategies of perception of environment inside and outside the city, the possibilities of its exploration by the means of art. Concentrated on the points of perceptive conflict, multiple interpretations of the living space, the project aims at playing out the political, social, aesthetic zones of tension by redefining it.

The exhibition is open until November 18, Tuesday – Sunday, from 17:00 to 21:00

Zmijewski’s Democracies at Visual Culture Research Center

On October 8th 2012 a new exhibition season at Visual Culture Research Center will start with Artur Zmijewski’s Democracies. During his stay in Kyiv Zmijewski will also take part in a presentation of a new issue of Political Critique magazine (Ukrainian edition), published by Visual Culture Research Center. An exhibition will last until October 23.

Artur Zmijewski is an artist and curator, one of the leading representatives of current critical art. He participated in 51. Venice Biennale, Manifesta 5 and Documenta 12. In 2012, he curated the 7. Berlin Biennale (together with Joanna Warsza and Voina group). Zmijewski is an artistic editor of Political Critique magazine. In his work Zmijewski studies the current social antagonisms, problems of political representation and collective imaginaries.

Democracies is an ongoing film series that documents various political actions around the globe. Zmijewski’s camera becomes both witness and participant of protest actions, mourning demonstrations, civil unrests, sports celebrations, historical reconstructions etc. Zmijewski comments on his project: ‘I appreciate the politicization of public space. A demonstration that may last for just on hour is a moment, when people occupy the position of political subject, subvert the rules of parliamentary politics. They say: only direct politics exist. This is an incredible moment that should never end’ (In conversation with Oleksiy Radynski, Art Ukraine magazine, #3/2011).

During his stay in Kyiv Artur Zmijewski will also present his film Catastrophe that documents the reaction of Polish society towards the crash of Lech Kaczynski’s presidential plane in Russia on April 10, 2012.

Visual Culture Research Center (26 Kostiantynivska st, Zhovten Cinema)

This exhibition takes part within Culture of Transformation project, co-organized by Visual Culture Research Center and supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland. Project partners: Polish Institute in Kyiv, Zhovten Cinema.

Exhibition by Miron Zownir «ОКРАЇНА / OKRAЇNA»

June, 29 – July, 27, 2012
Opening – June, 29, Friday, 19:00
Visual Culture Research Center (26 Kostyantynivska St., “Zhovten” Cinema)

Having visited his historical homeland Ukraine in summer 2011 famous German photographer Miron Zownir began to work on a new photo series. Exactly one year later, when attention of the whole Europe is focused on Ukraine and Poland, Zownir represents his newest photo-project from Kyiv, Lodz, Moscow and Warsaw called «Okraїna» in the Visual Culture Research Center. Life of urban outcasts in these cities has its own laws. The boundaries that define their everyday life, outlined by poverty and social exclusion, are not less firm and restrictive than the geographical ones. East-European space is characterized by unanimity determined by invisible, unwanted fringes – citizens of outskirts. «Okraїna» by Miron Zownir is an aesthetic paradigm. It combines dark expressionism, urban landscape and iconic images of outcasts of the 21century.

Miron Zownir is a photographer, filmmaker, author of criminal novels, professor at the Academy of Film and Television in Berlin. His photo-books are published in one of the best art-publishing houses Gestalten, his works are exhibited in the most influential galleries alongside such stars as Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Weegee, having influenced with their documentary value the whole generation of young artists. Zownir lived in Berlin, London, New York, Los Angeles, and managed to capture counterculture punk energy of the 1980-2000’s. Heroes of his uncompromising works are homeless, outsiders, intellectuals, the main themes – man lost in the modern city, loneliness, affect, fear, deviation, sexuality. As a filmmaker since 1986 Zownir created 10 short films, worked with directors such as Alexander Rockwell, Ryu Murakami and Chosei Funahara, as well as one full-length film that in 2003 participated in Berlin Film Festival program.

In June 2011 Visual Culture Research Center presented Zownir’s retrospective, which included photographs from 1980-2000’s, along with a series of short films. «Prostory» magazine published a selection of his photographs and texts.

Curators Anastasia Zhyvkova, Vasyl Cherepanyn

Opening hours: Tuesday Sunday, 12:00 21:00

Contacts: Anastasia Zhyvkova +38 093 477 72 72,; Vasyl Cherepanyn +38 050 445 76 08,

Within the project of the Visual Culture Research Center “IMAGE IN THE DARK: CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL PHOTOGRAPHY” in the frame of the Parallel Exhibition Program of the First Kyiv Biennale of Contemporary Art “ARSENALE 2012”


Erich Lessing’s photographs from Post-World War II Europe EXPANDED

May 26 – June 23

Opening of the exhibition: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 7 pm

Visual Culture Research Center
26 Kostyantynivska St., “Zhovten” Cinema

The basis for the project is the photography of Erich Lessing, one of Austria’s most renowned photographers and a member of the prestigious photo agency Magnum Photos, who has chronicled the world and interpreted its people, events, issues and personalities. The researches and documents the culture of Central and South Eastern Europe, thereby promoting knowledge and understanding of that region. The curators Marina Gržinić and Walter Seidl were invited to select artists from the respective countries who would react to Lessing’s photographs and create parallel histories, histories which conceptually reflect the social, political and historical changes in the region with and through the medium of photography.

Erich Lessing (A)
Anna Artaker (A)
Elżbieta Jabłońska (PL)
Šejla Kamerić (BiH)
Martin Kollár (SK)
Boris Missirkov & Georgi Bogdanov (BG)
Tanja Ostojić (SRB)
Erzen Shkololli (KOS)
Ilija Šoškić (MNE)
Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor (RO)
Manfred Willmann (A)

Curators: Marina Gržinić and Walter Seidl

A project by Erste Foundation, Vienna, supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the Austrian Cultural Forum Kyiv

Opening speeches by Vasyl Cherepanyn, Jakub Forst-Battaglia and Robin Gosejohann

Exhibition: May 26, 2012 to June 23, 2012

A comprehensive catalogue of the exhibition will be available with essays by Rozalinda Borcilă, Cristian Nae, Marina Gržinić and Walter Seidl.

Within the exhibition project of the Visual Culture Research Center “Image in the Dark: Contemporary Critical Photography” in the frame of the Parallel Exhibition Program of the First Kyiv Biennale of Contemporary Art “ARSENALE 2012”