About the Biennale
II Biennale of Young Art will take place in Kharkiv in the autumn, September 17-October 31, 2019. The theme of the Biennale this year: “Looks like I’m entering our garden”. The curators’ team for the main project: Anastasiia Yevsieieva, Daryna Skrynnyk-Myska, Borys Filonenko.
The main program is competitive, winners will be selected by an international jury.
The Biennale also has educational programs (curated by Kateryna Filiuk), children's programs (curated by Aza Nizi Maza Studio) and parallel programs (coordinated by Anastasia Leonova and Maria Volchonok).
You can read more about each program in the relevant sections of this site.
The Biennale is a means of showing the world view of the new generation in the Ukrainian visual arts; discovering new names and helping talented artists to succeed; after all, it is a way of looking around and inside ourselves through the prism of contemporary art. Also, the Biennale will enhance development of the cultural environment of Kharkiv and help various cultural institutions to gain new opportunities through an encounter with contemporary visual art.
The Biennale was established by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The main organiser in 2019 is Kharkiv Municipal Gallery together with a wide circle of its partners. The main organisational partner is “Bagels & Letters” PR agency.
The Biennale was founded by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine in 2017.
The main organizer in 2019 is the Kharkiv Municipal Gallery together with a wide range of partners. The main organizational partners are Bagels & Letters PR Agency and Yermilov Center. The project is being implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Fund, Kharkiv City Council and Kharkiv Regional State Administration. The legal partner of the project is ILF.
The First Biennale took place in Kyiv in 2017 and was called “The Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists”.
"It looks like we are entering our garden": this phrase, a slight variation on the motto from the curatorial concept, has become symbolic: the preparation for the Second Biennale of Young Art was a journey of discovery for us and a creation of our collective garden.
Kharkiv had not yet hosted art projects of this magnitude and in many respects had not been ready. Nevertheless, we eventually managed to bring into the project over 60 cultural, social, scientific, business, and donor organizations, together with dozens of fantastic people.
All of this is our garden.
It was and remains important to us that everyone may grow freely and naturally in our garden: without censorship, without attempts to trim others into a convenient shape. Because this is the only way that art and society can grow.
Not only is the artist a gardener of culture. We, as cultural managers, are also gardeners whose task is to sow seeds, water the garden, and make sure that no plants begin to suffocate others.
That is why we have added a children's program and a parallel program to the Biennale — to remind that art has no age. That is why we partnered with the first KharkivPride and included the Equality block in the educational program to provide people from invisible communities with an opportunity to speak about themselves. That is why during the Biennale we’ll be encouraging a discussion about the ecology of existence and the shared public space.
The words taken up by the curatorial group to be the title of this year's Biennale, "It looks like I am entering our garden," appeared one day three years ago on a wall, as if spoken by the wall itself, in the Myronosytska street in Kharkiv. The original phrase read: "Son, it seems like I am entering our garden." A few houses down the street a wall bore another inscription: "You are picking cherries"; and another: "One of them is my dearest, but I don't know it yet." The silent dialogue of a mother with her soldier son tore the aching air and sharply recorded this: the garden these days is different, the garden is half empty, the garden is awaiting homecomings.
War lends a particularly fine optic to human relationships and a particularly keen understanding of the importance of artistic actions. Here in Kharkiv, we are 40 km away from the border with Russia and 250 km away from the line of combat. From this point of view, many things look different. The war forces you to cling to your garden and realise that culture is just like the armed forces. Art is just like an optical device through which we look at the world, daily rethinking not only our "friend-or-foe" identification toolkit, but our self-identification as well. Getting rid of this optics would mean going blind.
We are grateful to each and every one of those who have been supporting us in bringing people together around the idea that art can change our shared space.
And when the next city hosts the third Biennale, we promise at the outset to help the team that will take on this supremely challenging task. The task to put your city on the cultural map of the country and to invite the country for a visit to your garden.
Organising committee of the Second Biennale of Young Art
The Biennale of Young Art was founded by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.
The institution hosting the 2nd Biennale of Young Art is the Kharkiv Municipal Gallery.
More than 60 institutions have been involved in organising the Biennale. With special thanks, we would like to introduce to the reader those who are actively changing the cultural space of Kharkiv and Ukraine as a whole.
The Biennale was made possible by:
The Municipal Gallery, whose many years of work became the reason why it was Kharkiv which was entrusted with the 2nd Biennale.
The curatorial team of the main program - Daryna Skrynnyk-Myska, Anastasiia Yevsieieva, Borys Filonenko, who gathered an art garden of incredible beauty and depth of meaning.
Bagels & Letters PR agency, which accumulates projects and people who change Kharkiv, and generates new visions for its development.
YermilovCenter contemporary art centre, which creates and hosts colourful and audacious projects that integrate Kharkiv into the artistic context of Ukraine and Europe.
ILF law firm, which specialises in creative economics and innovation projects, and became an ambassador for the Biennale, speaking to businesses about why supporting culture is a long-term investment.
Curator of the educational program Kateryna Filiuk, who created not just a program, but a field of profound meanings.
Aza Nizi Maza Studio, the children's program curators, who make manifest the value of children's artistic expression and give us a better understanding of the fact that children are rightful participants in artistic processes.
FORMA architectural workshop, known for its careful and intelligent renovation of spaces and its work with powerful cultural projects.
NGO Embassy of Artists, who promote communication of artists from different countries and who worked a miracle restoring the Kharkiv Hotel space which hadn’t been used for 10 years.
3Z Studio, who make the viewers accustomed to fine and contemporary solutions and whose design highlighted the Biennale concept and gave it a powerful voice in the urban space.
A4 +, a longtime reliable printing partner in scores of cultural projects in Kharkiv.
Literature Museum, Come In Gallery, HudpromLoft, which became cultural hubs, meeting places for people and ideas, for discussions of complex topics.
Doc Kino Transformatsia Studio, which created a series of video films that will keep living even after the Biennale, helping viewers understand contemporary art.
And many others, without whom the Biennale wouldn’t have taken place.
The Biennale was supported by:
The Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, whose existence has enabled hundreds of inspired people across the country to implement projects which are changing our shared space.
UA: Suspilne public broadcaster, who believe in culture and ecology of human coexistence as absolutely as we do.
The Ukrainian Institute, the ambassador of the Ukrainian culture to the world.
Harald Binder Cultural Enterprises, who enabled us to prepare mediators to assist viewers in the exhibition spaces.
The Kharkiv City Council and the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, who have an understanding that culture is an important factor for the development of the city.
The V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, its Research Institute of Astronomy, and the University Botanical Garden are powerful research institutions that Kharkiv should be proud of.
Kharkiv Hotel, which helped us to discover for the viewer different time layers of Kharkiv.
Nasha Dacha Hotel, the perfect place for a fun group outing, solitary rest, or a family weekend, and Hotel 19, with its 180 years of hospitality.
Grynyov Art Foundation, which is a constant supporter of contemporary art and whose prize the 2nd Biennale winners will be awarded.
Aromateque and Pavlo Martynov, who have been supporting artists for years and whose assistance enabled the realisation of projects by Andriy Hir and Nina Murashkina.
Yevhen Oberemko, Head of the State Environmental Inspectorate in the Kharkiv Oblast, who understands the importance of art for the discussion of ecological problems and helped to implement Vasylyna Burianyk's project.
Caparol, a company that supports art projects and helped us create the exposition of the main program.
Main information partners: Nakypilo, UA:Kharkiv, LB.ua, Korydor, who give culture a strong voice.