Giant modern art gallery opened in Kyiv old Soviet factory

Alice Yakubovich (right) wanted to inspire people by the Bible topic of Noah's Flood.
Photo provided by AkT


Alice Yakubovich (right) wanted to inspire people by the Bible topic of Noah's Flood.
Photo provided by AkT 

Culture, News, Ukraine

A huge art space of a size of two hockey fields (3600m2) was opened In Kyiv. The exhibition consists of 200 works from more than 30 artists. The organizer Alice Yakubovich used the territory of  the giant coworking area in Ukraine’s capital  Platforma Art-Factory. It is located in Kyiv’s “rust belt”. During the Soviet times it was a real factory. However, during the last years it was just a huge abandoned area.

The topic of the exhibition is Life After the Noah’s Flood and it was taken from the Bible. The artworks are devoted to life after the flood. Alice explains that she wanted to inspire people by this theme:

“The war is so close and there are many depressive notes, both in people and in art. I wanted to do something exalted. I thought that life after the Noah’s Flood was like life from scratch. You can compare it to life after the war, after the ruin. When everything has been destroyed and you can build something new.”

Life After the Noah’s Flood is the second exhibition organized by Alice. Photo provided by AkT

Why did you decide to organize an exhibition?

During the last year I have changed around 10 professions, starting from a journalist and ending with a kite instructor. I also worked as SMM manager, a model, a marketing manager… I realized that I always liked art, photo, and theater. What I also noticed was that in Ukraine art was poorly developed and sporadic. Artists are not able to sell their works, they can’t present themselves. They are shy. That’s why I thought it would have been cool to display Ukrainian art to the broad public, especially since we don’t have public art as such, only some examples.  

How did you select artists?

I had zero contacts among artists. I only had one friend who was just starting to draw. I started from a post on Facebook and then created a group. We made up a name AKT and announced that we were looking for artists, photographers, installation artists.  People started messaging me via Facebook and e-mail, and the selection process begun. I didn’t even know there were so many artists in Ukraine. Not just artists, but talented artists. We accepted almost everyone.

What about the artworks?

I have very simple criteria. When I see the artwork, I either like it, or not. Another important thing was whether there was an idea, as well as whether it didn’t make people want to go away. I have been to cultural centers from which I wanted to run away. Art can cause negative emotions, but it should not push me away.

Where did the funds for the project come from?

I don’t know how it happens, but almost all my projects cost 2 coins and a candy. Platforma Art Factory provided premise for free and financed some parts of the project. Platforma is sometimes used for street food festival, open air market of local producers, or charity. However, there wasn’t any place where talented artists could present their works (even though it is an Art Factory). I came with this idea to the Platforma Art Factory managers and our discussions had lasted for over two months.

First I planned it as a three-day festival, but then I realized people would have spent time and money to bring their artworks here. That’s why we decided to do it on a permanent base. Artists didn’t pay the participation fee, but we also didn’t pay honorariums for using their art pieces. So far it has been working in a “Ukrainian way”, with total budget of about $ 2000.

Photo exhibition Ukraine24. War & Peace in New York organized by Alice in 2015. Photo provided by AkT

When did the idea of organizing an art festival occurred to you?

I used to do marketing in Los Angeles, selling designer dresses. It’s not that it was boring, but  it was not my piece of cake. I hate selling to the same extent that I enjoy my organizational skills. Marketing was giving me money and I am thankful for that job, but I wanted to do something for my soul.

That’s why I organized an exhibition of Ukrainian photographers in Los Angeles, in Hollywood. There were 24 photos from 13 Ukrainian photographers. It was devoted to Ukraine Independence Day on the 24th anniversary. I did this exhibition for free and received premise for free. Printing the photos was possible thanks to the support of the fund sponsors. Up to 500 people came which was a good result for an exhibition in the US, and we received good feedback. After Los Angeles, the exhibition went to New York.

When I came back to Kyiv I thought about returning to journalism. However, one cannot step in the same river twice. So I thought, why can’t I continue working with exhibitions?

Next exhibition starts on 15 July. It is called Around an Axis and is devoted to time and its periodicity. It is about how standing at the same place you can still change your point of view.

Out of Eden, Author: Yuliya Poliakova
Inside Yourself, Author: Oleh Radvana
Series Chrysalis, Author: Olha Glumcher
The art space takes 3600 m2
Jujutsu, Author: Alina Gaeva
Art-Factory is organized on the territory of the real old factory
Virgo, Author Lera Litvynova
A part of works in the exhibition is devoted to sins
Brunette, Author: Serhiy Piskunov
Series Another Point Of View, Authors: Anna Vasilieva, Yaroslav Korobka
Series Another Point Of View, Author: Yaroslav Korobka
Where is your brother, Cain? Author: Olga Glumcher
Unity, Author: Egor Zygura
Series Another Point Of View, Authors: Anna Vasilieva, Yaroslav Korobka
Series Another Point of View
Series Another Point Of View
Sandbags complement the theme of the global flood
Cosmic Ejaculation, Author: Artem Trushel
A Grid, Author: Maksym Fynogeev
Relationships, Author: Anna Bytaeva
1 - Selfie, 2- Beyond Transcendence,  Author: Sasha Q
Series Eternal Life, Author: Alina Gaeva
The Universe, Author: Alina Gaeva
Author: Semen Scherbyna
Emergence, Collaps, Author: Nina Smykalova

Photos in the gallery by Olena Makarenko

Edited by: Viktoriia Zhuhan

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