We posted earlier about the Kyiv Biennale which will open this May with David Elliot’s project “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art.” Today, the Biennale announced its Discussion Program, which has been assembled by Ekaterina Degot under the title “What Is and What Should Never Be: Art After the End of the World.”
According to a statement sent out through e-flux, the program revolves around the thesis that “Art is quite comfortable with the idea of the end of art. But how can art deal with the end of the world?”
The utopian tradition of the artistic reinvention of society has become a political necessity today. The basic question of the platform and the accompanying publication—”What is and what should never be?”—is addressed not to professional politicians and economists, but rather to artists, philosophers, activists and theoreticians. We expect that the answers to this question will contribute to the process of inventing our postapocalyptic world anew, with a particular focus on the situation of “art after the end of the world.” We are aware of the pivotal role of the institution of contemporary art within neocapitalism—contemporary art with its logic of innovation and postindustrial immaterial practice, with its spirit of resistance (so often defeatist) and its critical attitude (so easy to domesticate).
All events will take place in Kyiv’s Mystetskyi Arsenale (which has also proved “easy to domesticate” – up until recently the Arsenale was the site of livelier projects like the artist-initiated Gogolfest.)
The schedule includes lectures by freelance curator Simon Sheikh (February 29), e-flux founder artist Anton Vidokle (March 23), theorist Franco Berardi (May 7), critic Boris Groys (May 14), and philosopher-sociologist Renata Salecl (May 25.) On April 6-8, the biennale will host a conference with participation from Zygmunt Bauman, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Sebastian Cichocki, Maria Hlavajova, Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania, Artem Magun, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Slawomir Sierakowski, and Oksana Timofeeva, to name a few.
For more information and updates, check the site.