Ukrainian Pavilion
Ukrainian Pavilion
Riva dei Sette Martiri
30122 Venice VE
tel: +38 044 494-1148

reported by Stefano Giovanazzi
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Ukrainian Pavilion | 56th International Art Exhibition

Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale


Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Riva dei Sette Martiri
Hours: Daily 10–18h

Curator: Björn Geldhof

The Ukrainian national pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, presents a group exhibition titledHope! featuring a young generation of Ukrainian artists, including Yevgenia Belorusets, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Mykola Ridnyi &Serhiy Zhadan, Artem Volokitin,Anna Zvyagintseva and Open Group. The project is organized by the PinchukArtCentre with the support of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

Ministry of Culture of Ukraine is commissioner. Björn Geldhof, Deputy Artistic Director of the PinchukArtCentre, is the curator of the project.

The Ukrainian national pavilion, located in a specially designed temporary glass structure on the Riva dei Sette Martiri, on the main waterfront route from Arsenale to Giardini, stands as a model for a new transparent Ukraine reaching out to the world. With this exhibition a young generation of artists voices hopes for Ukraine’s future while confronting the current conflict and the countries recent history.

Victor Pinchuk, Ukrainian businessman, philanthropist and founder of the PinchukArtCentre: “The young generation of artists we have been supporting for many years, started the future Ukraine already long ago—independent, uncompromising, critically reflective. Today they are new Ukraine’s ambassadors. I am proud that we can make a small but important contribution to the international communication of my country by organizing the Ukrainian national pavilion and bringing young artists to Venice.”

Björn Geldhof, curator of the Pavilion of Ukraine, talking about the artists says: “The works presented in this exhibition create, in combination with the glass pavilion, a contradictory space. They offer a critical narrative that resists the ideals or the hopes expressed in the architecture of the pavilion. They reveal a critical and non-partisan attitude to the conflict while being marked by a deep personal commitment and solidarity with Ukraine.”

Cage (2010) by Anna Zvyagintseva embodies the contradictions between freedom and imprisonment, rule of law and lawlessness and strength and fragility. Blind Spot (2014) by Mykola Ridnyi and Serhiy Zhadan focuses on the price of violence but resists narrow narratives that foster radicalization of thought. Artem Volokitin in his painting reduces the reality of life to a violent act that moves between hope and fear, between death and the sublime. And ZhannaВ Kadyrova shows Ukraine as a part of the world, in a way using the recent past to take a glance at the future.

Open Group and Yevgenia Belorusets emphasize in opposite ways personal commitment and the responsibility of individuals in an armed conflict. Their works reveal the different civil attitudes within society. Open Group deals with young men drafted into the army and their families waiting for their return. Belorusets portrays invisible miners who chose to live and work within the zone of conflict but refuse to take part in the war, trying to save their future by daily work in the mines.

Just outside the pavilion, the public sculpture of Nikita Kadan refers to the past and confronts the present situation of war. He deals with questions related to the historification of a conflict and confronts this with Ukraine’s Soviet past.

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