Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv. Courtesy Mystetskyi Arsenal.
The First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art
24 May–31 July 2012
ARSENALE 2012 will be the first Biennale to take place in Kiev, Ukraine. Under the Direction of Commissioner, Nataliia Zabolotna and artistic direction of renowned British Curator, David Elliott, the Biennale will be entitled The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, based on an idea inspired by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (1859). On display in the historic Mystetskyi Arsenal, a magnificent former military building in the heart of Kiev, ARSENALE 2012 will feature works by over 100 leading and emerging international and Ukrainian contemporary artists, including over 40 new works previously unseen or made especially for the exhibition.
Exciting new works to be featured at the Biennale include Footprints of Eternity, a new site-specific immersive installation by YAYOI KUSAMA. Flanked by two large new paintings, the installation will be specially made for the Biennale by the Japanese artist. Kusama will also present an earlier reflection box work entitled Aftermath of the Obliteration of Eternity (2009).
British artist PHYLLIDA BARLOW will create Rift, a new three-part site-specific work with hoardings, industrial elements and "bombs" that will respond to the massive columns, vaults and military history of the imposing Arsenal building.
Indian artist JITISH KALLAT will also be creating a new work for the Biennale, a walk through installation comprised of the projection of a letter written in 1939 from Mahatma Ghandi to Adolph Hitler, urging the Dictator "for the sake of humanity" to avoid war.
A new series of large images of factories by BORIS MIKHAILOV (born in Kharkiv, Ukraine) will both liberate and capture the superannuated power of the era of Soviet heavy industry which has scarred vast tracts of Ukraine. The images feature behemoths of iron and steel that dwarf the few surviving workers, projecting bittersweet memories of construction and sacrifice into an anti-heroic present.
American painter FRED TOMASELLI will present two new large apocalyptic works he has made especially for the Biennale. Corresponding to the theme of the exhibition, they reflect the Gothic underbelly of a society spinning out of control.
Confirmed List of Artists
AES + F, Russia; AI WEIWEI, China; MAKOTO AIDA, Japan; VYACHESLAV AKUNOV, Uzbekistan; EIJA-LISA AHTILA, Finland; KADER ATTIA, Algeria/France; LARA BALADI, Egypt; PHYLLIDA BARLOW, UK; YAEL BARTANA, Israel; LUTZ BECKER, UK; JOHN BOCK, Germany; LOUISE BOURGEOIS, United States; LUCHEZAR BOYADJIEV, Bulgaria; SERGEI BRATKOV, Ukraine; ERGIN CAVUSOGLU, Bulgaria/UK; JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN, UK; OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, Russia; CHOI JEONG HWA, Korea; BAASKA CHOLIDJAVIN, Mongolia; CHTO DELAT, Russia; OLEKSANDR CHEKMENYEV, Ukraine; DANICA DAKIC, Bosnia/Germany; RICHARD DEACON, UK; FOLKERT DE JONG, Netherlands; ALEKSANDRA DOMANOVIC, Serbia; WEI DONG, China; ANNIKA ERIKSSON, Sweden/Germany; STELIOS FAITAKIS, Greece; DANIEL FAUST, United States; RICHARD GRAYSON, UK; RODNEY GRAHAM, Canada; TRENTON DOYLE HANCOCK, United States; SHIRAZEH HOUSHIARY, UK; ILYA & EMILIA KABAKOV, Ukraine/USA; NIKITA KADAN, Ukraine; JITISH KALLAT, India; OLEKSANDR KADNYKOV, Ukraine; GULSUN KARAMUSTAFA, Turkey; TOMOKO KASHIKI, Japan; ALI KAZMA, Turkey; BARTI KHER, India; LESYA KHOMENKO, Ukraine; RACHEL KNEEBONE, UK; OLA KOLEHMAINEN, Finland; OLEG KULIK, Ukraine; YAYOI KUSAMA, Japan; LAM TUNG PANG, Hong Kong; SERGYI ZARVA, Ukraine; ZHOU ZIXI, China; HAMLET ZINKOVSKY, Ukraine; DIHN Q LE, Vietnam; LIU JIANHUA, China; MADEIN COMPANY, China; MAP OFFICE, Hong Kong; MYKOLA MALYSHKO, Ukraine; PAUL MCCARTHY, United States; ERBOSSYN MELDIBEKOV, Kazakhstan; ALMAGUL MENLIBAEVA, Kazakhstan; BORIS MIKHAILOV, Ukraine; TRACEY MOFFATT, Australia; ANA MARIA PACHECO, UK; FIONA PARDINGTON, New Zealand; SERGIY RADKEVICH, Ukraine; RADYA, Russia; RASHID RANA, Pakistan; VANDY RATTANA, Cambodia; REP, Ukraine; MYKOLA RIDNYI, Ukraine; ANILA RUBIKU, Albania; ANDRIY SAGAIDAKOVSKY, Ukraine; ARSEN SAVADOV, Ukraine; SHEN SHAOMIN, Australia; RAQIB SHAW, India/UK; CHIHARU SHIOTA, Japan; YINKA SHONIBARE MBE, Great Britain; MASHA SHUBINA, Ukraine; NATASHA SHULTE, Ukraine; SONG DONG, China; CANAN TOLON, Turkey; FRED TOMASELLI, United States; VASSILY TSAGOLOV, Ukraine; UJINO, Japan; DAGVASAMBUU UURIINTUYA, Mongolia; BILL VIOLA, United States; STAS VOLYAZLOVSKY, Ukraine; YELENA & VIKTOR VOROBYEV, Kazakhstan; VOVA VOROTNIOV, Ukraine; WANG QINGSONG, China; MICHAEL WESELY, Germany; MIAO XIAOCHUN, China; YIN XIUZHEN, China; MIWA YANAGI, Japan; YANG FUDONG, China; KENJI YANOBE, Japan; YEESOOKYUNG, Korea; TOMOKO YONEDA, Japan; YOUNG HAECHANG, Korea; HEAVY INDUSTRIES; BARNBROOK STUDIO, UK.
Curator: Oleksander Soloviov, Deputy Director-General, Mystetskyi Arsenal. The Polish side of the project will be coordinated by Fabio Cavalucci, Director of Zamek Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
This project will present a unique opportunity for the artists, curators and critics from Poland and Ukraine to meet and debate, to find points of contact and mark the zones of identity, diversity and resemblance. Despite these two countries sharing a common border there is a lack of mutual knowledge about each other's cultures and art. This project may be regarded as a special test for looking at a local cultural situation in the context of the globalized world.
The guests of ARSENALE will have a chance to experience Ukraine's cultural scene and become immersed in Kiev's unique cultural environment through the Parallel Programme. It will include a programme of art and cultural events that will take place at art institutions and galleries to coincide with the Biennale.
A special programme to introduce the contemporary art of the ARSENALE to the wide Ukrainian audience, including students. Lectures and discussions will take place leading up to the Biennale and various guided tours will be held during the Biennial.
For further press information, images or interview requests please contact:
+44 (0) 20 7183 3577
+44 (0) 7595 217 650
The registration for professionals is open for those interested in visiting the fair. Please pre-register at: arsenale2012.com/accreditation/profaccr