Ukrainian Art Now: Spaces of Identity

Международная конференция, посвященная связи современного искусства и политического активизма, с участием ведущих современных украинских художников и обсуждением документального фильма ‘Museum Revolution: Art Born on the Barricades’

13.00 – 18.30, Friday 27 February 2015 (with registration from 12.30)
The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN


Ukrainian Art Now: Spaces of Identity examines the cultural dimensions of the social reload that found its expression in the revolutionary Maidan events of November 2013-February 2014. Building on the unprecedented number of recent cultural events devoted to Ukrainian art worldwide (among others the touring exhibition I am a Drop in the Ocean: Art of the Ukrainian Revolution), our symposium brings together leading Ukrainian artists and curators to discuss identity, protest and the social legacies of contemporary Ukrainian art in relation to key political changes and cultural transformations. 

Our main aim is to interrogate changes in the field of Ukrainian identity as these are being expressed in visual and conceptual terms. If, for decades, Ukraine lacked new symbols with which to integrate its two major language groups and to accommodate an expanded variety of cultural perspectives, the new mythologies emerging from the flames of the uprising suggest that Ukrainian culture is now breaking with the post-Soviet symbolic model, moving towards new forms of self-identification. Contemporary art's enormous potential as a vehicle for representing and analysing these processes makes it a crucial point of reference for any consideration of current affairs in the region. 

The symposium addresses the following questions: How have contemporary artists in Ukraine reacted to the social critique that caused the unrest, prompting radical social transformations? To what extent have artists been critical in their engagement with recent political tensions? What visions of internal and international relations have they proposed? We explore how artists have negotiated the trauma of recent violence, and consider how the doubts and hopes played out in the protests are being expressed in contemporary Ukrainian artistic practices. Organised by Svitlana Biedarieva and Dr. Klara Kemp-Welch (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

Ticket: £16 (£11 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions) 

Book online here. Or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, stating ‘Ukrainian Art symposium’.

For further information, email, tel +44 207 848 2909. 



12.30 – 13.00 


13.00 – 13.05 

Welcome – Klara Kemp-Welch (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

13.05 – 13.20 

Introduction – Svitlana Biedarieva (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 


SESSION 1:  Cultural Codes and Power in Contemporary Ukrainian Art 

13.20 – 13.50 

Roman Minin (Artist, Kharkov): The Cultural Code of the Donetsk Area. 

13.50 – 14.20 

Nikita Shalenny (Artist, Dnepropetrovsk): ‘Berkut’: The Case of People in Masks. 

14.20 – 14.50 

Alisa Lozhkina (Curator and Editor-in-Chief of Art Ukraine, Kiev): Aesthetics of Authority vs. Aesthetics of Revolution. The Ukrainian Experience. 

14.50 – 15.30 

Panel discussion 

15.30 – 16.00 

TEA/ COFFEE BREAK (provided – Seminar Room 1) 


SESSION 2: Towards Europe? Social Explosion and Divided Identity 

16.00 – 16.30 

Film ‘Museum Revolution: Art Born on the Barricades’, directed by Natalia Babintseva. Introduction by Anatoly Golubovsky. 

16.30 – 17.00 

Konstantin Akinsha (Curator, New York, Guest Fellow Max Webber Kolleg, Erfurt): Curating the Revolution. 

17.00 – 17.30 

Pavlo Kerestey and Susanne Clausen (Artists, London): Szuper Gallery: we met after the wall came down and where are we now? Unsettling the Setting between East and West and so on and a new proposal for working beyond the military academy. 

17.30 – 18.30 

Panel discussion and closing remarks