Opening of the Visual Culture Research Center at “Zhovten” Cinema

Solidarity Action of the 7th Berlin Biennale

April 26, 2012, 6 p.m.

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

On Thursday, April 26th at 6 p.m. the Visual Culture Research Center will open in the new premises at “Zhovten” (“October”) Cinema. The space for the combination of art, knowledge and politics will now be located at one of the oldest cinemas in Kyiv, whose name and history embody the idea of visual culture as education and emancipation. The format for the presentation of the VCRC will be the action of solidarity of the 7th Berlin Biennale, which will open on the same day at KunstWerke Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin).

“Forget Fear” is the slogan of the 7th Berlin Biennale, curated by Artur Żmijewski, Polish artist and art director of the Political Critique magazine. “Forget Fear” is also the name for a discussion on political engagement of intellectuals and artists with the participation of VCRC activists and colleagues that will take place during the VCRC opening event. The action will also include screening of films from the Biennale Breaking the News special project.

Participants: Yevgenia Belorusets, Andriy Bondar, Olga Bryukhovetska, Denys Gorbach, Dmytro Gorbachov, Lyudmyla Gordeladze, Pavlo Gudimov, Olga Zhuk, Nikita Kadan, Yevhen Karas, Serhiy Kutniy, Oleksandr Ivashyna, Alisa Lozhkina, Roksolana Mashkova, Andriy Mokrousov, Nadiya Parfan, Oleksandr Roytburd, Anastasiya Riabchuk, Mykhaylo Sobutsky, Oleksandr Soloviov, Volodymyr Chemerys, Vasyl Cherepanyn.

Visual Culture Research Center was founded in 2008 at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with the aim of creating an interdisciplinary environment for the analysis of the post-Soviet situation of Ukraine on the intersection of art, knowledge and politics. The Center since has conducted 120 scientific events and discussions with the participation of scientists from Ukraine and abroad, and 20 art exhibitions. In March 2012, VCRC was turned out of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, which was the result of the university administration’s ideological censorship.

The 7th Berlin Biennale curators team: “The main issue in question at the 7th Berlin Biennale is the profound results produced by art. Artistic imagination is not always ready for creating such effects. As it is in politics, in art it is better to work as a collective than alone. That is why we decided to propose to art institutions that deal with similar questions to make their own research and present them within the Berlin Biennale. We name these actions and their results “the solidarity actions”. Instead of thinking of the competition we focus on the collaboration within a common horizon. There is a lack of solidarity in the art world, therefore, we take a step to change it.”

Breaking the News is a special project at the 7th Berlin Biennale, which is aimed at combining the means of art and journalism. Artists and activists from different countries create a common media platform for the production and spreading of films dedicated to current social protests in their countries. Films by media collectives Mosireen (Egypt) and Filmpiraten (Germany), as well as by Zafeiris Haiditis (Greece), Lukasz Konopa (UK), Thomas Rafa (Slovakia/USA), Oleksiy Radynski (Ukraine), David Reeb (Palestine), David Rych (Germany) will be screened at the VCRC opening event. “It is not enough to make political films, films must also be made politically.”