Венецианское биеннале - 2015. Украина опять оскандалилась - RI

Группа деятелей украинских деятелей культуры и искусства в открытом письме обвинила Вячеслава Кириленко, министра культуры своей страны, в том, что работа павилиона Украины на престижном Венецианском биеннале была провалена. Творцы запутались в обязательствах по организации работы, которые давали государство и частные благотворители. В результате часть наиболее известных из них отказалось от поездки в Венецию. 

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La Biennale di Venezia 2015: Another Ukraine Embarrassment

The Ukrainian artistic community was in the news last week via an open letter to the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, Vyacheslav Kirilenko criticizing him for the government’s failures at Ukraine's national pavilion at this year’s Venice Art Biennale. Signatories of the letter included artists Anna Zvyagintseva, and Sergey Zhadan, among others who slammed the ministry for its “failed commitments”. 

According to the news, invitations to independent curators Oksana Barshynova and Mikhail Rashkovetsky were misleading, and hid the true nature of the ministry’s commitment for the Biennale.

<figcaption>This year's La Biennale di Venezia - Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia</figcaption>
This year's La Biennale di Venezia - Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Barshynova and Rashkovetsky, who ended up signing on for the project, eventually resigned even before the biennale opened. On the announcement the pavilion would not be financed by the Ukrainian government, but instead by the private PinchukArt Centre, the pair left in protest, even despite the ministry’s suggestion their departure was personally motivated. In retort, the new Minister of Culture of Ukraine, Vyacheslav Kirilenko, responded to the accusations on his Ukrainian Pravda blog.:

“The Ukrainian pavilion has opened. Only, without the €65,000 budget, which the two former curators of the project insisted on, and about which they are complaining now in the media,” he said, adding that government money must be spent on something “more important than someone’s fees.” 

Since the unrest began in Ukraine the art scene has suffered greatly. Lack of funding because of the ongoing economic system has been a key detractor from the arts. Many high profile cultural and artistic events have had to be cancelled in the last year and a half.

Whichever spectrum one cares to observe this situation from, controversy involving one of the world’s oldest and most influential art atmospheres is not something Ukraine needs right now. Ukraine's participation in this event is a prestige gift, a presentation of the country on the world stage. The new minister of culture’s biggest test, it would seem, should be to iron out any misgivings Ukraine's participation in the Venice Biennale has fostered.

At best, news of this letter of complaint brings to light no new controversy over Ukraine’s art governance. The demands for transparency of the processes taking place this year mirror similar concerns in the past. These “processes” of the Ministry of culture seem to constantly go on, and this instance at the Venice Biennale is simply a repeat.


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