The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015, opening September 2015, announces venues, schools, and first international participants

The School of Kyiv announced venues and schools in a press conference in the House of Cinema (Kyiv) on June 24. The biennial will be taking place in Kyiv and a number of European cities from 8 September until 1 November 2015.

The School of Kyiv is curated by Hedwig Saxenhuber and Georg Schöllhammer (Vienna), and conceived together with Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv).

The main location of the School of Kyiv will be the House of Clothes at Lvivska Square (Kyiv), a masterpiece of late Soviet modernism, designed by Valentyn Yezhov. Two levels of the former department store will be transformed into an experimental space for art and knowledge production, open to a broad audience. By this choice, the biennial emphasizes its intention and potential for developing new art infrastructures in Kyiv.

Apart from its central location at Lvivska Square, the School of Kyiv will be hosted by partner institutions and initiatives all around the city:

The House of Artists
The House of Cinema
Kyiv Art Gallery Lavra
The Modern Art Research Institute
The National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture
The National Art Museum of Ukraine
The National Museum of History of Ukraine
The National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
The National Library for Architecture and Construction Research
Visual Culture Research Center
32 Vozdvyzhenka Arts House
33 Soshenko Street Art Studios

and other venues to be announced.

The School of Kyiv considers itself as an open societal project, therefore, admission to all its events and venues is free. The six schools integrated in the exhibition space are stages and places for reflection, debate, and work. Their classes bring together artists, intellectuals, activists, and students, who will be able to cooperate with their colleagues and a broad audience. Every school raises issues relevant for Ukrainian and European society, as well as political reactions to current challenges.

The School of Abducted Europe. In different formats, like lectures, seminars, public discussions, and workshops, the School of Abducted Europe envisions and questions how another Europe can exist. Sanja Ivekovi ÅLc (Croatia), Emily Wardill (United Kingdom), Ivan Krastev (Bulgaria), Shalini Randeria (Austria), Timothy Snyder (USA), and Marci Shore (USA), among others, are contributing to the classes of the School.

The School of the Displaced. Internally displaced persons will gather and share their experiences with artists who have become refugees for political reasons; they will work together with civic initiatives to explore how displacement can be political resistance and self-definition. The musician Rami Essam (Egypt / Sweden), “the voice of Tahrir Square”; Helge Lunde (Norway), the Head of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN); the artists Ahmet Ögüt (Turkey), Milica Tomić (Serbia), Marina Naprushkina (Belarus), and Adelita Husni-Bey (Libya / Italy) are just a few of the fellows of the School. The School is co-curated by Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky (Perpetuum Mobile, Finland – Germany).

The School of Image and Evidence aims at deconstructing the status of image in current propaganda wars by using film production as an instrument for critical analysis of the war in Ukraine. Film directors, media activists, and researchers will work on a series of documentaries in collaboration with Ukrainian and international filmmakers. Among the participants are Serhiy Loznytsya (Ukraine / Germany), Hito Steyerl (Germany), Ruti Sela and Maayan Amir (Israel), Artur Żmijewski (Poland), Haim Sokol (Russia), Nataliya Gumenyuk (Ukraine).

The School of Landscape. Landscape as a key notion of national imaginary and land as a territory of struggles and dreams are at the core of the classes of this school. Artists and geographers, poets and political theorists, historians and economists will explore cultural and political readings of this paradigm. Tetyana Zhurzhenko (Ukraine / Austria), Martin Pollack (Austria), Andreas Siekmann (Germany), Vladislav Shapovalov (Russia), Taus Makhacheva (Russia), Grupo Etcétera (Argentina), Igor and Ivan Bukharov (Hungary) are joining the School together with other local and international participants.

The School of the Lonesome will work around emotional remains of revolutionary euphoria in the loneliness that follows its end. Activists who took part in uprisings on Maidan, Gezi, Tahrir, in Hong Kong, Russia, and Argentina will work on microdramas, poetic actions, and performances imagining a new political subject after its loss. These pieces will be elaborated together with theater performers and the general audience by artists including Zeino Pekünlü (Turkey), Graciela Carnevale (Argentina), Keti Chukhrov (Russia), Tony Chakar (Lebanon), Kwan Sheung Chi (Hong Kong).

The School of Realism. Realism has a long and dominant history in Ukrainian art. Realism is a combat term in contemporary art. The school will be an arena where these different notions of realism will meet in theory and practice. The School of Realism will host classes and pieces by Dmitriy Gutov (Russia), Kazimir Malevich (Serbia), Doug Ashford (USA), Anke Hennig (Germany), John Miller (USA) curating a group of fifteen American artists, and others.

The School of Kyiv will include projects by by Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan (Romania), Anna Daučíková (Slovakia), Anna Jermolaewa (Russia – Austria), Antonio Cosentino (Turkey), Aslı Çavuşoğlu (Turkey), Aura Rosenberg (USA), Boris Ondreička (Slovakia), Denisa Lehocká (Slovakia), Heinz Frank (Austria), Imogen Stidworthy (UK), Ion Grigorescu (Romania), Jiří Kovanda (Czech), Josef Dabernig (Austria), Laure Prouvost (France), Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc (France), Mikhail Tolmachev (Russia), Mladen Stilinović (Croatia), Neïl Beloufa (France), Paweł Althamer (Poland), Ricardo Basbaum (Brazil), Robert Carlton Breer (USA), Till Gathmann (Germany), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (Netherlands), William Kentridge (South Africa), Yves Netzhammer (Switzerland), Zofia Kulik (Poland), …

Ukrainian participants of the School of Kyiv and a complete list of international contributors, as well as the biennial departments in Ukraine and abroad will be announced at a press conference in August.

The main international supporters of the School of Kyiv include

Allianz Cultural Foundation (Germany), the Austrian Federal Chancellery (Austria), European Cultural Foundation (Netherlands), the Federal Foreign Office (Germany), the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Germany), ERSTE Foundation (Austria), the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) (Austria), Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Germany), the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection (Georgia), mumok (Austria), Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), National Gallery in Prague (Czech Republic), Nordic Culture Point (Finland), the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), Pro Helvetia (Switzerland), SHIFT – Basis.Kultur.Wien (Austria), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (Switzerland), (Austria / Czech Republic / Hungary / Romania / Slovakia), Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands).

For the press accreditation and preview please contact:

The School of Kyiv
8 September – 1 November 2015