Alternative Projects

Usurping Lenin's vantage point.

The statue of Lenin in Kyiv in 2011. Photo by Andrea Wenglowskyj

The statue of Lenin in Kyiv in 2011. Photo by Andrea Wenglowskyj

You may have heard that new rules were passed for the "decommunization" of Ukraine. In February 175 towns and villages were given new non-Soviet names and 139 monuments from the totalitarian state were dismantled, many Lenin statues included. And of course, it was heavily contested by groups nostalgic for the Soviet past.

Izyolatsia, a contemporary art foundation now based in Kyiv, commissioned Mexico City artist, Cynthia Gutierrez, to stage a "temporary art intervention" called Inhabiting Shadows at the former site of the Lenin monument in Kyiv. Rickety steps were added in place of where Lenin once stood overlooking the center of the city so that people could climb to their own Lenin view point. 

Click here to see images of Gutierrez's installation. 

Odesa/Batumi Photo Days

Odesa/Batumi Photo Days is meant to connect Odesa, Ukraine and Batumi, Georgia through exhibitions, workshops and creativity. Importantly, the goal of this project is to enlighten "a wide range of audiences that consume huge amount of information every day in conditions of media wars, who have lack of professional training in the field of photography and especially its modern trends in Ukraine... we’ll try to pay attention to the problem of photo perception as visual media in mass media communications connected to people everyday’s life." Read more about the project here

*The Odesa portion of the project happened in April 2015, but will be in Georgia in September!


From the  Performativity website .  

PERFORMATIVITY Educational Art Project was initiated and produced by TanzLaboratorium (Larysa Venediktova, Olga Komisar, Oleksandr Lebediev, with Larissa Babij) in 2011. For two weeks in Kyiv in the summer, choreographers, theorists, artists, and curators from Portugal, Russia, Poland, Canada and other countries converged for a series of events including research laboratories, lectures, performances, and discussions.

This project was really great to attend and see that through passion, concern, a hunger for dialog about art education, and what is actually happening in Ukraine,  a new annual series could emerge. By inquiring about new alternatives, they have begun to establish one.

Larissa Babij, an American living in Kyiv and part of TanzLaboratorium, provided the following on their site: 

"In Kyiv, there is little intercommunication between traditionally divided artistic disciplines (theater, dance, visual art, etc.). The lethally stagnant, formal approach to culture results in most artistic activity being either the repetition of old, established canons or the repetition of "new" international trends; neither of which involves significant reflection on art as art, as Ukrainian art, as part of a local  and  international artistic community-network.

Four members of TanzLaboratorium are discussing the need for alternative art education in Ukraine, more precisely, a platform that could propose a whole new kind of communication – through working together, learning by doing, exploring the concept of performativity. In the context of the project, we understand performativity as "time-based artistic activity that thematizes temporality; it researches the process of transformation of concepts (nouns) into action (verbs)." 

She summarized it quite perfectly.