Kyiv Biennial 2023 — La Biennale de Kyiv


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Kyiv Biennial 2023
La Biennale de Kyiv

Past: October 5 → December 29, 2023

The fifth edition of Kyiv Biennial will be international and will take place in Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Uzhhorod, Vienna, Warsaw and Berlin.

In view of the brutal Russian attack on Ukraine, a comprehensive biennial project in Kyiv long seemed deeply uncertain, if not impossible. But, with a cascade of openings — starting in Kyiv and Vienna in October 2023, finishing in Berlin in 2024 — the fifth Kyiv Biennial will take place. This Biennial edition is conceived as a European event, with dispersed exhibitions and public programs in a number of Ukrainian and EU cities, and realized in partnership with leading European institutions in the field of contemporary art.

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Hito Steyerl, How Not to Be Seen, Black Cloud Kyiv Biennial 2019, photo by Sasha Kovalenko

Instead of abandoning the project and thus submitting to the logic of war that attacks everything civil, the 2023 Biennial draws upon its founding idea: that of being a multi-centric initiative in a European, interconnected and solidary form. Art institutions in Ukraine (in Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Uzhhorod) organize presentations and events in their endangered yet working infrastructures. Despite the late start of planning due to the war, museums and exhibition halls in Vienna (the main exhibition spot), Warsaw and Berlin, together with venues in other European cities, have freed up their spaces and platforms for exhibitions and events with Ukrainian and international artists as well as for discursive, performative and educational activities. Together, the institutions have formed a curatorial consortium to jointly create a conceptual framework within which they develop their respective Kyiv Biennial programs.

How can a country at war address political, social, cultural and societal issues? Today, the experience of artists and cultural workers in Ukraine is profoundly marked by war trauma, displacement, lack of access to basic resources and, in many cases, direct involvement in armed resistance or the experience of life under military occupation. This poses existential challenges for the future of art and cultural production in Ukraine. The upcoming Biennial aims at reintegrating the Ukrainian artistic community, divided and scattered throughout Europe by the war, in order to empower its actors to work and reflect collectively and together with international colleagues on cultural, social and environmental challenges Ukraine is currently facing and to imagine scenarios for an emancipatory future within a global context.

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Kinotron Group, Data is the new gas, KPI Library, Black Cloud Kyiv Biennial 2019, photo by Sasha Kovalenko

The Kyiv Biennial strategy, developed in the course of its four previous editions, merges artistic production, critical knowledge and social engagement in the times of emergency, where curatorship goes far beyond its contemporary meaning of an artistic and organizational practice and becomes resignified with its original sense of restoration, rehabilitation and relief, thus suggesting not a biennial, but a perennial long-run international project, a “Kyiv Perennial.”

Kyiv Biennial 2023 is conceived and organized by the Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv) together with (Vienna), (Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Cluj, Iași, Prague and Vienna), Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Museum Crisis Center (Lviv), Other Edges, Dovzhenko Centre (Kyiv), Asortymentna Kimnata (Ivano-Frankivsk) and Sorry, No Rooms Available (Uzhhorod).


Kyiv, Ukraine: The River Wailed Like a Wounded Beast Curators: Stanislav Bytiutskyi, Aliona Penzii, Oleksandr Teliuk Dovzhenko Center, Vasylkivska, 1 Runtime: October 5 — December 29, 2023

Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine: On the Periphery of War Curators: Alona Karavai, Roman Khimei, Yarema Malashchuk, Anton Usanov Asortymentna Kimnata, Sichovykh Striltsiv, 15 Runtime: October 7–30, 2023

Uzhhorod, Ukraine: Where Are We Now, After All Those Endlessly Repeated Words? Curators: Petro Ryaska, Daria Shevtsova Sorry No Rooms Available, Intourist-Zakarpattia Hotel, Ploshcha Kyryla i Mefodiya, 5 Runtime: October 8 — November 12, 2023

Vienna, Austria: Main exhibition Curators: Serge Klymko, Hedwig Saxenhuber and Georg Schöllhammer Augarten Contemporary, Scherzergasse, 1A and independent spaces in Vienna Runtime: October 17 — December 17, 2023

Warsaw, Poland: Museum Forum: Ukrainian Museums In the War Between russia and Ukraine: Professionalism, Cooperation, Solidarity Curator: Olha Honchar Museum of Modern Art, Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie, 22 Event Date: October 23, 2023

Lublin, Poland: This Is Just an Exhibition Curator: Waldemar Tatarczuk Galeria Labirynt, J. Popiełuszki, 5 Runtime: October 27 — January 22, 2024

Antwerp, Belgium: DISPATCHES postcard project Curators: Nav Haq, Vasyl Cherepanyn M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp), Leuvenstraat, 32

Participating artists :

AKT, Kateryna Aliinyk, Pawel Althamer, Vitalii Atanasov, Babi Badalov, Abdul Sharif Oluwafemi Baruwa, Luka Basov, Ivan Bazak, Mykola Bazarkin, Boji, Katya Buchatska, Bohdan Bunchak, Oleksandr Burlaka, Uliana Bychenkova, Daria Chernyshova, Davyd Chychkan, Anna Daučíková, Jeremy Deller, De Ne De Collective, Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Selma Doborac, Experimental Jetset, Mekhitar Garabedian, Gelitin, Shilpa Gupta, Danylo Halkin, Majd Abdel Hamid, Ksenia Hnylytska, Iman Issa, Nikita Kadan, Tomas Kajanek, Sejla Kameric, Franz Kapfer, Nikolay Karabinovych, Mikhail Kaufman, Ivan Kavaleridze, Dana Kavelina, Roksolana Kit, Alina Kleytman, Maksym Khodak, Anna Khvyl, Július Koller, Oleksa Konopelko, Arnold Kordium, Zoriana Kozak, Kreizik, Collective Kukhnia, Zofia Kulik, Sasha Kurmaz, Natalia Kushnir, Kaja Kusztra, Hamlet Lavastida, The Laundry Collective, Livyj Bereh, Aksel Lundin, Mary Lydon, Kateryna Lysovenko, Yevhen Makarov, Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Khimei, Daryna Mamaisur, Mangelos, Judy Millar, mountaincutters, Marina Naprushkina, Henrike Naumann, Yves Netzhammer, Leonid Osyka, Daniel Otero Torres, Dan Perjovschi, Patrycja Plich, Oleksii Podat, Anna Potiomkina, Olena Pronkina, Laure Prouvost, Remembering Peace, Daniil Revkovskiy, Mariia Rusinkevych, Georgia Sagri, Olesia Saiienko, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Toni Schmale, Anton Shebetko, Alexey Shmurak and Oleg Shpudeiko, Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch, Alisa Sizykh, Yuliia Solntseva, Anna Sorokovaya, Hito Steyerl, Miriam Stoney, Superflex, Waldemar Tatarczuk, Wolfgang Tillmans, Vasyl Tkachenko, Bogdan Tomashevsky, Darya Tsymbalyuk, Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Dziga Vertov, Clemens von Wedemeyer / eeefff, Myroslav Yaremak, Orest Zaborskyi, Marharyta Zhurunova and Bohdan Lokatyr, Anna Zilahi, Anna Zvyagintseva.

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