Festival of young Ukrainian artistsExhibitions

Festival of young Ukrainian artists

Festival of young Ukrainian artists
Мистецький Арсенал
вул. Лаврська, 10-12
Київ, Київська область 01010

Is it reasonable to talk about the emergence of a new generation of contemporary Ukrainian art representatives? How have the social processes of recent years influenced the artistic experience of young Ukrainian artists? To what extent the art of young artists is included in the world artistic context? To answer these questions and  widely present the work of young Ukrainian artists are the aims of the Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists.

The Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists is founded by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The Festival is to be realized in Biennial format every two years and to be housed by various Ukrainian cultural institutions.

The Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex and the National Art Museum of Ukraine were appointed to organize the festival in 2017. They were chosen as institutions that have a successful experience of holding events of such scale and are able to co-finance the Festival.

Ukrainian artists under age 35, with works performed in any kind of media (video, graphic techniques, painting, sound, land art, performative practices, projects for public space, text, sculpture, photography, various types of digital/new media art, as well as other genres, forms and means of artistic production), were invited to participate in the competition.

The applications of the competition participants were selected by invited curators Lizaveta German, Maria Lanko and Kateryna Filiuk, according to the proposed topic of competitive selection – Today that never happened.

While working on the project, the curators invited artists to think of the categories of change, which characterize the present time – blurring of topographical boundaries, fragility of national states, variety of identities, disappearance of boundaries between private and public. According to the curators, there were shifts in understanding the time and history categories, and conceptual limits of understanding the past, present and future are now interchangeable. The curatorial group suggested artists to think about alternative models of the present and to reflect them in their practices.

The world, as we knew it, does not exist, and tomorrow there will not exist the world that we pretending to know today. Thin lines that divided homogeneous time into the past, present and future, turn out to be blurred. The present is created at the same time as future and past – postmodernist, post-communist, post-historical, post-Internet. With the rise of hybrid wars and almost uncontrolled migration, borders are floating. Nation states are pulsating as living and vulnerable organisms that have lost their static. And with the increasingly rapid rise of communication technologies, one of the fundamental principles of society in its westernized model, namely, the delimitation of the public and private spheres, is lost. Identities become blurred, as they are now changing depending on circumstances, subjective reasons or in order to adapt to a new context.

In this “changing” present, it becomes increasingly difficult to be contemporary. Giorgio Agamben defines modernity as a cosmic darkness, which is nothing but a light from distant galaxies that does not reach the earth, because the speed of their reсending is much greater than the speed of light. And contemporary art in its research, experimental and visionary canon is a practice that is able to reach the light in this darkness, realizing the model of the present that never happened.”

Lizaveta German, Maria Lanko and Kateryna Filiuk  

394 applications from Kyiv, Odessa, Lviv, Lutsk, Uzhgorod, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Rivne, Sumy and other cities were submitted to the Festival`s competition. In addition, we received applications from artists living or studying abroad, namely in Poland, the Netherlands, Austria, Lithuania, Canada, Israel and Italy.  As a result 67 art projects were selected by the Festival curators Lizaveta German, Maria Lanko and Kateryna Filiuk on a competitive basis with works that are in tune with the Festival`s topic.

Participants of the Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists 2017:

Mykhailo Alekseienko and Madlen Franko, Piotr Armianovski, Alex Bykov, Kateryna Buchatska, Open Group, Vova Vorotniov and
ZA_S_XID Project, Attila Hazhlinski, TSE (THIS) Gallery, Daniil Galkin. Vira Ganzha, Iuliana Golub, Serhii Gryhorian, Petro
Gronsky, Sasha Dolgiy. Olena Dombrovska, Andrii Dostliev, Lia Dostlieva, Kateryna Yermolaeva, Zhuzhalka, Misha Zavalnyi, Polina
Karpova, Anna Kakhiani, Borys Kashapov, Alina Kleytman, Taras Kovach, Yevgen Korshunov, Vitalii Kokhan, Olha Kuzyura, Sasha
Kurmaz, Ishtvan Kus, Alexander Kutovoi, Ola Lanko, Pavlo Lysyi, Luhansk Contemporary Diaspora, Maksym Maksymiv, Dmytro
Mykytenko, Viktoria Myroniuk, Denys Nechai, Yevgen Nikiforov, Bogdan Pilipushko, Maria Plotnikova, Viacheslav Poliakov, Oleksiy
Radynski, Sergii Radkevych, Olga Sabko, Yurii Savter, Vasyl Savchenko, Anton Saienko, Mykhailo Stefura, Elena Subach, Serhii
Torbinov, Members of the Montazh project, Vitaly Fomenko, Anna Khodkova, Semen Khramtsov, Lilya Chavaga, Aleksandr  Chepelev, Mitya Churikov, Anton Shebetko, Alina Yakubenko, Vitaly Yankovy, Mariana Yaremchyshyna, Kristina Yarosh, Alina Mann & Coco Schwarz, APL315, Art-cluster R+N+D, Etching Room #1, Kinder Album.

The selected projects were presented at the exhibition at Mystetskyi arsenal from September 28 to October 29, 2017, some works were implemented in the public space and installed on partner sites.

The Jury of the Festival:
Bjorn Geldhof – artistic director of PinchukArtCentre, art and strategy director of Yarat! Contemporary Art Space.
Yuri Onukh – artist, curator, art critic, former director of Foundation Center for Contemporary Arts Kyiv (1997-2005), Polish Institute in Kyiv (2005-2010) and New-York (2010-2014).
Taras Polataiko– artist.
Mikhail Rashkovetsky – art historian, art critic, curator of Museum of History of Odessa Jews, curator of the 3rd4th and 5th Odessa Biennale of Contemporary Art.
Tetyana Tumasyan – curator, gallery owner, director of the Kharkiv Municipal Gallery, founder of the NON STOP MEDIA Biennale Youth Projects Festival (since 2003), curator of Vovatanya Gallery, lector at V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.
Monica Shevchyk– art historian, curator, director of Arsenal gallery in Bialystok (Poland).

2017 Festival winners:
1st place – Maria Plotnikova, performance Stick Apart
2nd place – Piotr Armianovski, film Me and Mariupol
3rd place – Viacheslav Poliakov, photo project Mizh (Between)

The jury evaluated only the works presented at the Festival, and not the general experience and portfolio of the artists. When reviewing and evaluating the works, the jury members took into consideration artistic method of the artists and the Festival’s topic elaboration in their artworks. The winners are young artists, who have great potential and work with various media – performance, video, photography.

Yevhen Nyshchuk

Minister of Culture of Ukraine

Contemporary art projects carry deep messages for society, embodying free spirits, bold pursuits and creative interpretations, and bring a fresh breath into the culture. Watching the contemporary art in Europe, its tendencies, I can confidently say – Ukraine is absolutely on trend. That is why, for us, it is important to support the development of contemporary art of modern Ukraine, which would be integrated into the thinking of the world.

Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta

Director General of Mystetskyi Arsenal

A large contemporary art project, especially aimed at supporting young artists, which unites the efforts of three key players in the public sector of culture – the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, Mystetskyi arsenal and the National Art Museum of Ukraine. This is a step to demonstrate that contemporary culture has the same weight as historical one. In fact, the youth biennial indicates a reversal of cultural policy in Ukraine. This does not mean that everything is very positive and all the changes are exceptionally positive, but this clearly demonstrates the direction of thought – from purely inertial financing of Soviet models and institutions to attempts to stimulate the emergence of a new.

Yulia Litvinets

General Director of the National Art Museum of Ukraine

For the National Art Museum of Ukraine this is an important act of an institutional support for the contemporary art. The museum is open to various artistic practices, and young art as the most sensitive to social change and actual trends. The participation in the organization of the Festival is especially important for us, as we plan to create the State Museum of Modern Art, where not only the contemporary art will be presented, but also new approaches to its understanding and representation.


  • Project curators

    Lizaveta German

    Curator, candidate in Art Studies, art critic, co-director of Contemporary Art course at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. Studies the history of curating and art exhibitions in Ukraine and the world, as well as informal Soviet art. Together with Maria Lanko, works as an independent curator and is a co-founder of research platform Open Archive.


    Maria Lanko

    Independent curator, researcher, art critic. Gets a PhD-degree in Aberdeen University, where explores the collective and self-organized practices of late Soviet and contemporary Ukrainian art. Together with Lizaveta Herman is a co-curator of the curator's lab at Dim Master Klass


    Kateryna Filiuk

    Independent curator, art critic. Has a Master's Degree in Philosophy of Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University. Graduate from De Appel Curatorial Program 2015/16. Within the framework of the Public Agreement project of the IZOLYATSIA Foundation is engaged in research of commemorative objects and practices in the public space. Director of Dymchuk Gallery and Coordinator of the Curatorial Program for Research.