57th International Art Exhibition—LA Biennale DI Venezia
13 MAY – 26 NOVEMBER 2017
Photographer Boris Mikhailov will represent Ukraine at the 57th International Art Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia. Ukraine’s participation is commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and organized by Dallas Contemporary, a Kunsthalle in Dallas, Texas. The pavilion is curated by Peter Doroshenko and Lilia Kudelia.
“For over thirty-five years Boris Mikhailov’s photography has influenced the dialogue about art and culture in Eastern Europe. It will be important to see Mikhailov's newest works at the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2017. He is a creative visionary not only for Ukraine and Europe, but for the world.”
― Peter Doroshenko, Executive Director at Dallas Contemporary
“Since the early 1970s, Boris Mikhailov has been developing a language of conceptualism in photography that undermined the official canons and taboos of the art of socialist realism. Mikhailov’s work has brought him incredible international respect and come to largely define the role of the city of Kharkiv in the contemporary Ukrainian art. Honest and nuanced, his vision keeps nurturing the work of emerging artists.”
― Yevhen Nyschuk, Minister of Culture of Ukraine
“I tried to express the crisis through the Suprematist disintegration of the figurative by examining the broadcast of parliamentary debates and the interaction of verbal and visual manifestations that correspond with these images.”
― Boris Mikhailov
“Boris Mikhailov was born in 1938, the same year television broadcasting began in the USSR. He devoted himself to photography around 1967, when his signature superimposition works emerged at the same time color television began broadcasting in Soviet Ukraine. In today’s world increasingly populated by ‘TV cord cutters’, television as cultural analysis still courses through Mikhailov’s veins.”
― Lilia Kudelia, Assistant Curator at Dallas Contemporary
Boris Mikhailov, 2017. Photo by Juergen Teller. Courtesy of Juergen Teller Ltd
Born in 1938 in Kharkiv, Mikhailov became a major figure in Ukrainian art by providing a poignant and haunting perspective on the role of the individual in Soviet and post-Soviet conditions. He began experimenting with photography while working as an engineer in the early 60s. Since then, Mikhailov has produced more than 30 photographic series and published over 20 photobooks. Mikhailov was the recipient of the 2012 Spectrum International Prize for photography, the Citibank Photography Prize (later renamed Deutsche Börse Photography Prize), the 2000 Hasselblad Foundation International Award and the 1999 Krazna-Krausz Photography Book Award. Past solo exhibitions include MoMA, ICA Boston, Tate Modern, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Berlinische Galerie, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Kunsthalle Wien, and Centro Italiano per la Fotografía, among others.
Juergen Teller, Vita and Boris Mikhailov, 2017. Photo by Juergen Teller. Courtesy of Juergen Teller Ltd
An artist book, directed by renowned photographer Juergen Teller and published by Rodovid Press, will feature works from the exhibition along with a “backstage look” at the production of Mikhailov’s Parliament series.
Peter Doroshenko states: “Since the late 1990s, Boris Mikhailov and Juergen Teller have shared a unique and at times complementary view of the world through their photography. Their bond and friendship arises from not being afraid to push their photography and creating rich narratives for their images. Mikhailov and Teller put the viewer in a position of realizing the nature of perception by emphasizing the process of re-contextualization.”
Juergen Teller is an influential German photographer who made his British Vogue debut in 1994. Navigating both the art world and commercial photography, he has shot campaigns for clients including Marc Jacobs, Celine, Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton and exhibited internationally, including solo shows at Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul; Dallas Contemporary, USA; Deste Foundation, Athens; ICA, London; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn and Kunstpalais, Erlangen.
Anton Belinskiy for One Day Project, 2017. Photo by Christina Abdeeva, Stas Kalashnikov
Fashion designer Anton Belinskiy will provide another facet to the exhibition through the dedication of his capsule clothing collection to the Ukrainian Pavilion inspired by the visual culture of Ukrainian parliament. Signs of capitalist trade are closely intertwined with artifacts of emerging
national identity on the surfaces of his clothing: a Visa card logo evokes the color of the Ukrainian flag, while a cash machine screen implores the audience to select a user language—Ukrainian, Russian, or English—highlighting the volatility of identity within contemporary Ukrainian society.
Belinskiy graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Technology in Kyiv in 2008 and launched his namesake brand in 2009. The self-appointed ringleader of Kyiv’s new fashion talents at One Day Project, Belinskiy represents not just himself but the whole generation of upcoming Ukrainian creatives. In his work he channels cultural rebellion, youthful romanticism and social critique.
Ivan Svitlychnyi. Detail from Point Cloud series, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
Ivan Svitlychnyi + SVITER
SVITER art group and Ivan Svitlychnyi, whose work overlaps with Mikhailov’s interest in the mutation of information and data echo chambers, will present a site-specific sound installation in which drum machines and electronic synthesizers create a unique algorithm that converts data in and around the pavilion into audio tracks in real time.
Ivan Svitlychnyi graduated from Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Art with a concentration in Easel and Monumental Sculpture. He was nominated for the Pinchuk Art Centre Prize in 2011, 2013, and 2015, and was the artist-in-residence at Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy in 2014.
SVITER began in Kharkiv as a musical project in 2009 between Ukrainian musicians and artists Lera Polianskova and Max Robotov. In collaboration with Ivan Svitlychnyi, SVITER founded the artistic initiative 01011101 in 2010 as well as the creative exposition center ТЕЦ in Kharkiv in 2014. In 2015, they founded Shuhliada (The Drawer), the first virtual art space in Ukraine and a platform for the support and integration of independent artistic projects into new media systems. Since 2015, Ivan Svitlychnyi and SVITER have been members of the Institution of Unstable Thoughts, an organization that runs a variety of art projects including maintaining an electronic database of Ukrainian contemporary art.
zhúzhalka will present a photo series created through the fusion of the Kiev (a Soviet camera) and modern digital camera in a process whereby photos are created only when the viewfinders of the two cameras catch the same object simultaneously. Entitled Plague, the photo publication symbolizes the act of blindly taking a photograph in space and comments on the often haphazard convergence between the photographer and the photographed subject.
Zhúzhalka. Detail from Plague series, 2015. Courtesy of the artist
zhúzhalka is a collective originally found in Donetsk by Victor Corwic, Vyacheslav Sokolov and Roman Yuhimchuk in 2012. Each participant combines artistic practice with professional activities in other areas, such as architecture, design, programming, economics. The main interest of the collective was heritage of native Donbass area and activity around a self-published and eponymously titled zine dedicated to photography until recently. zhúzhalka's practice exceeds the traditionally conceived frames of photography and instead interweaves image with text to formulate propositions that deviate from mere representations. zhúzhalka's approach to photography is encapsulated by the collective's choice of name, which colloquially denotes coal slag that remains after coal has been burned up in an oven and which is then used by households for different purposes. Photography, just like this slag material, is perceived by the collective to have become trivialized and rendered worthless through its overabundant supply. zhúzhalka's repurposing of photography places it within a new value system, thus forcing us to reflect on the very notion of "value" in today's conditions.
April Opening at Dallas Contemporary with special guest FriendsWithYou, 2015.
Photo by Heather Ray
Dallas Contemporary is a non-collecting art museum presenting new and fresh ideas from regional, national and international artists. Modeled after European art centers and located in an industrial building in the Design District, Dallas Contemporary is one of the only institutions of its kind in the United States, offering temporary exhibitions, important lectures and seminal learning programs.
Photo by Claudia Doroshenko
Peter Doroshenko is the Executive Director at Dallas Contemporary. He previously held directorship positions at Pinchuk Art Centre, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst and the Institute of Visual Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2007 and 2009, he was the commissioner of the Ukrainian Pavilion for La Biennale di Venezia. In 2002, he was awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministrère de la Culture et de la Communication in Paris, France for his embrace of post-structuralist theory.
Photo by Yesi Sukilynn Fortuna
Lilia Kudelia is the Assistant Curator at Dallas Contemporary, and has previously worked as a curatorial assistant at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. In 2010–2011, Kudelia served as Chair of External Relations at Ukraine’s newest and largest museum complex Art Arsenal in Kyiv. She graduated from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine with a major in cultural studies.
Cannaregio 1345/D (enter on Calle Conterie side)
13 May – 26 November 2017
10.00 AM – 6.00 PM daily
Closed on Mondays
Admission is free
Preview Days: 10–12 May from 1.00 PM – 6.00 PM
Opening Reception: Wednesday 10 May (by invitation only)
Vaporetto: S. Marcuola-Casino
Train Station: Venezia Santa Lucia
Ponte delle Guglie
Casinò di Venezia / Wagner Museum
Fondaco dei Turchi
Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum)
Università Cà Foscari di Venezia
Church of Madonna dell’Orto
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