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“Against the logic of war.” Kyiv Biennial returns to Ukraine, focusing on artists’ displacement

“Against the logic of war.” Kyiv Biennial returns to Ukraine, focusing on artists’ displacement

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing Russia’s war against Ukraine, organizers of the Kyiv Biennial have confirmed that the event’s fifth edition will take place this October, Observer reports. The international art exhibition, this year dedicated to the topic of displacement in times of war, will be held in Kyiv, as well as the Ukrainian cities of Ivano-Frankivsk and Uzhhorod, before moving to Vienna, Warsaw, and Berlin.

The primary international location for the biennial will be Vienna’s Augarten Contemporary, followed by shows at Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art and a 2024 exhibition in Berlin. However, before moving beyond Ukraine’s borders, Kyiv’s Dovzhenko Centre, Ivano-Frankivsk’s Asortymentna Kimnata, and Uzhhorod’s Sorry, No Rooms Available will host presentations and events within their “endangered yet working infrastructures.” These cities, situated away from the frontlines, have offered refuge to evacuated artists over the past year and plan to showcase artwork created during the war.

The 2023 edition, titled “Against the Logic of War,” will focus on the nation’s ongoing trauma and aims to address political, social, cultural, and societal issues amidst the conflict.

With the objective of reconnecting displaced Ukrainian artists across Europe, the exhibition takes on a “Kyiv Perennial” approach rather than a traditional biennial. The upcoming edition will explore the environmental impact of the war, including biodiversity loss, pollution of natural resources, poisoned land, and mined territories.

Kyiv’s Dovzhenko Centre will kick off the biennial on October 5, showcasing works related to the history of the Dnipro River and its recent role in the Russian breach of the Kakhovka Dam.

As the exhibitors for the biennial will be announced next month, the art world anticipates an emotionally charged and impactful exhibition that addresses the profound effects of war on artists and cultural workers in Ukraine.

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