artists & participants

AES+FEija-Liisa Ahtila Ai WeiweiMakoto AidaVyacheslav AkhunovKader AttiaLara BaladiPhyllida BarlowYael BartanaLutz Becker 1941John BockLouise BourgeoisLuchezar BoyadjievSergej BratkowErgin CavusogluDinos ChapmanJake & Dinos ChapmanOleksandr ChekmenyevOlga Chernysheva Chiharu Shiota Choi Jeong HwaBaaska Cholidjavin Chto Delat 'Uuriintuya DagvasambuuDanica DakicFolkert de JongRichard Deacon Dinh Q. LeAleksandra DomanovicSong DongAnnika ErikssonStelios FaitakisDaniel FaustDora GarciaRodney GrahamRichard GraysonTrenton Doyle HancockShirazeh HoushiaryLiu JianhuaEmilia KabakovIlya & Emilia KabakovNikita KadanOleksandr KadnykovJitish KallatGülsün KaramustafaAli KazmaBharti KherLesya KhomenkoRachel KneeboneOla KolehmainenOleg KulikYayoi Kusama Lam TungpangMykola MalyshkoNikolai MatsenkoPaul McCarthyErbossyn MeldibekovAlmagul Menlibaeva Miao XiaochunBoris MikhailovTracey MoffattAna Maria PachecoFiona PardingtonDan Perjovschi ' R.E.P. Group 'Sergiy RadkevichRashid RanaMykola RidnyiRoee RosenAnila RubikuAndrei SagaidakovskyArsen SavadovRaqib Shaw Shen Shaomin Shigeo ToyaYinka ShonibareMasha ShubinaNatasha ShulteAndreas SiekmannCanan TolonFred Tomaselli Tomoko Kashiki Tomoko YonedaVasily Tsagolov UjinoNomeda & Gediminas Urbonas Vandy RattanaBill ViolaStas VolyazlovskyViktor VorobyevElena Vorobyeva & Viktor VorobyevVova Vorotniov Wang Qingsong Wei DongMichael WeselyOleksandr WolodarskyMiwa Yanagi Yang FudongKenji Yanobe Yeesookyung Yin Xiuzhen Young-Hae Chang HEAVY INDUSTRIESSergey Zarva Zhou ZixiHamlet Zinkovsky 



press release


The main project of ARSENALE 2012 - "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art" consists of four parts: "The Restless Spirit", "In the Name of Order", "Flesh", and the "Unquiet Dream". Curator - David Elliott (Great Britain).

The special project of ARSENALE 2012 will be devoted to works of the most popular Ukrainian and Polish artists. Curators of the project - Oleksandr Solovyov, art theorist, curator, deputy director of Mystetskyi Arsenal (Ukraine) and Fabio Cavallucci, director of Zamek Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art (Poland).

The Discussion Platform of the First Kyiv International Binnial, titled “What Is And What Should Never Be: Art After the End of the World” will take place in March-April 2012. The Platform will be held in the form of lectures, presentations, seminars, and a concluding discussion on the following topic: what is art going to be like after the end of the world, which we got used to living in? The Discussion Platform will be summarized by the same titled publication that will be brought out in summer 2012. Curator - Ekaterina Degot’ (Russia).

The Concept of ARSENALE 2012


An exhibition about art and life in the world today

Echoing the first words of A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Charles Dickens’ famous novel set at the time of the French Revolution, this exhibition jumps forward to the present to consider how contemporary art and aesthetics use the past to express the future. The ideals of Human Rights developed during 18th Century European Enlightenment found their first political expression in the American and French Revolutions. Combining ideology with action, these initiated a continuing wave of national uprisings that still continue to form the world. Yet in spite of good intentions Human Rights have been constricted and each revolution has contained at its core the worst as well as the best of human thought and action. This exhibition reflects on utopian dreams of freedom, equality, and security that are very much at the heart of our lives today, as well as on their opposite: terror, inequity and war. It is the destructive forces of both man and nature that seem to make a more ideal life impossible.

In one way the “best” and “worst” may be understood as opposites, as part of the dialectic of rational, western materialism, in which existence is formed by both choice and circumstance. Yet, in another sense, the best and worst are embedded within the same cyclical motion in which the finest dreams are crushed by seemingly uncontrollable forces, the worm of individual greed consumes collective balance or the green shoots of hope grow out of the most sterile wasteland. Within the “worst” redemption lies dormant, while the “best” may be an illusion that harbours the seeds of its own destruction. This latter view is found in many facets of Eastern philosophy and religion.

Kyiv, the site of this exhibition, is an historic Slavic city and state located on routes of trade and migration between East, West, North and South. It absorbed Vikings from the North in the 9th Century CE and strengthened its international significance and at different times Huns, Khazars, Greeks, Mongols, Pechenegs, Scythians, Tatars and other nomadic peoples, many of whom originated in the Far East, have passed through and sometimes settled there. The diasporic heritage of the vast Eurasian landmass is reflected in the choice of works for this exhibition in which artists from the Ukraine and CIS states are shown with those from the North, South, West - and particularly the East.

As well as reflecting the culture, history and genealogy of this region, this approach refers particularly to recent cataclysmic changes in the balance of wealth and power in which the mixed legacies of the European Enlightenment have been challenged. The crisis in Socialism and the whole idea of a public space, Allied adventures in the Gulf and Afghanistan, corporate greed and the virtual collapse of capitalism, the Jasmine Revolutions in northern Africa and elsewhere, have all clearly revealed that the now challenged hegemony of the West has been fatally compromised by its unenlightened self-interest. Today world poverty has reached record levels in spite of there being the resources to alleviate it. Environmental despoliation continues although it is obviously destroying our future. The ideals of freedom, democracy and Human Rights have been cynically regarded as adjuncts of power - commodities, dispensed sparingly like aid, scattering silence or compliance in their wake. One pattern emerges: the rich get richer and no one wants to give anything up. But out of this maelstrom it is by no means clear what acceptable alternatives can be found.

The intelligence, intuition and humanity of the artists who have made the work in this exhibition is not directed towards providing solutions to such questions as these but rather gives inspiration by its example. Their critical, sardonic, sometimes humorous or iconoclastic views of the world, their ability to think and see outside the cages into which we are so often willingly confined, and their clarity and commitment to truth in art, energizes us to go a step further - to experience and analyse more keenly for ourselves the causes and effects of life, the very fountainhead of art. And this is a necessary prelude for action.

The exhibition will comprise the work of about 100 artists and be organised around four hub ideas

- The Restless Spirit Looks at the way in which we derive strength from beliefs, myths and concepts of the universe that are not governed by material need

- In the Name of Order Examines how under the pretext of rationalism power attempts to dominate culture through the creation of self-serving hierarchies

- Flesh Takes the human body, its appetites, desires and limitations as its central theme

- The Unquiet Dream Focuses on nightmares and premonitions of disaster, without which we are unable to change.

David Elliott


Art After the End of the World Discussion Platform for the 1st Kyiv Biennial Arsenale 2012 February–May 2012 Venue: Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, Lavrska street 10-12

Participants: Zygmunt Bauman, Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Sebastian Cichocki, Boris Groys, Maria Hlavajova, Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania, Artem Magun, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Renata Salecl, Simon Sheikh, Slawomir Sierakowski, Oksana Timofeeva, Anton Vidokle

Contributing Artists: Luchezar Bojadjiev, Dora Garcia, Dan Perjovschi, Gruppa Predmetov, Roee Rosen, Andreas Siekmann, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Oleksandr Wolodarsky and others

Curated by Ekaterina Degot

Art is quite comfortable with the idea of the end of art. But how can art deal with the end of the world?

The popular fantasy of the end of the universe coming in 2012 has recently acquired unexpected political significance. There is a growing conviction that the world as we know it should end. In fact, the resounding crash of global financial capitalism and spectacular manifestations of discontent all over the world are telling us that the world of unrestrained consumption is already on its deathbed. Why wait passively until the system decomposes by itself—until "the world ends"? Why not start inventing a new world, the one that will succeed the current apocalypse?

The utopian tradition of the artistic reinvention of society has become a political necessity today. The basic question of the platform and the accompanying publication—"What is and what should never be?"—is addressed not to professional politicians and economists, but rather to artists, philosophers, activists and theoreticians. We expect that the answers to this question will contribute to the process of inventing our postapocalyptic world anew, with a particular focus on the situation of "art after the end of the world." We are aware of the pivotal role of the institution of contemporary art within neocapitalism—contemporary art with its logic of innovation and postindustrial immaterial practice, with its spirit of resistance (so often defeatist) and its critical attitude (so easy to domesticate). In any case, we believe that the artistic ability to see the horizons of an uncertain future and to create the vector of the possible is priceless.

These issues are not to be considered from a neutral, totalizing, "globalized" point of view. Rather, our suggestion is rooted in the experience of an "apocalypse" that for more than two decades now has defined the context where the Kyiv Biennial is about to take place. The collapse of symbolic that occurred with the end of "socialism" in the Soviet bloc is comparable to the ongoing fall of the global neocapitalist system. This experience seems to be gaining new significance nowadays, as similar threats are becoming universal.

The platform is an extended event structured as a series of discussions, talks, lectures and seminars. A publication forthcoming in summer 2012 will sum up the project.

Schedule: February 29 – Lecture by Simon Sheikh March 23 – Lecture by Anton Vidokle April 6–8 – Conference with Zygmunt Bauman, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Sebastian Cichocki, Maria Hlavajova, Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania, Artem Magun, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Slawomir Sierakowski, Oksana Timofeeva

May 7 – Lecture by Franco "Bifo" Berardi May 14 – Lecture by Boris Groys May 25 – Lecture by Renata Salecl

The platform will take place in the frame of the 1st Kyiv Biennial Arsenale 2012. The main exhibition of the Biennial will be curated by David Elliott (23 May–30 July 2012).

Arsenale 2012 is organized by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, Kyiv City State Administration, State Directory for Affairs, National Cultural-Art and Museum Complex "Mystetskyi Arsenal."

only in german

Arsenale 2012
The 1st Kiev international Biennial of contemporary art
Künstler. Direktor: David Elliott, main project "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times - Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art"
Kuratoren: Oleksandr Solovyov, Fabio Cavallucci, Ekaterina Degot

Künstler: AES+F , Kader Attia, John Bock, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Sergej Bratkow, Choi Jeong-Hwa, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Aleksandra Domanovic, Dinh Q. Le, Annika Eriksson, Richard Grayson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Gülsün Karamustafa, Lesya Khomenko, Oleg Kulik, Lam Tungpang, Boris Mikhailov, Makoto Aida, Miwa Yanagi, Paul McCarthy, Fiona Pardington, R.E.P. Group , Sergiy Radkevich, Masha Shubina, Shen Shaomin, Yinka Shonibare, Tomoko Kashiki, Ujino , Vandy Rattana, Michael Wesely, Kenji Yanobe, Yeesookyung , Hamlet Zinkovsky, Ai Weiwei, Vyacheslav Akhunov, Lara Baladi, Lutz Becker [Berlin], Yael Bartana, Chto Delat? , Oleksandr Chekmenyev, Dagvasambuu Uurintuya, Folkert de Jong, Daniel Faust, Rodney Graham, Ali Kazma, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Nikita Kadan, Oleksandr Kadnykov, Liu Jianhua, Erbossyn Meldibekov, Map Office , Mykola Malyshko, Tracey Moffatt, Anila Rubiku, RADYA , Andrei Sagaidakovsky, Natasha Shulte, Shigeo Toya, Canan Tolon, Tomoko Yoneda, Bill Viola, Vova Vorotniov, Wang Qingsong, Yang Fudong, Yin Xiuzhen, Sergey Zarva, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Baaska Cholidjavin, Louise Bourgeois, Phyllida Barlow, Chiharu Shiota, Ergin Cavusoglu, Olga Chernysheva, Danica Dakic, Richard Deacon, Stelios Faitakis, Shirazeh Houshiary, Bharti Kher, Jitish Kallat, Ola Kolehmainen, Rachel Kneebone, Almagul Menlibaeva, Madein , Miao Xiaochun, Nikolai Matsenko, Ana Maria Pacheco, Mykola Ridnyi, Rashid Rana, Arsen Savadov, Raqib Shaw, Song Dong, Fred Tomaselli, Vasily Tsagolov, Stanislav Volyazlovsky, Elena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev, Wei Dong, Yayoi Kusama, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Dora Garcia, Dan Perjovschi, Gruppa Predmetov , Roee Rosen, Andreas Siekmann, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Oleksandr Wolodarsky, Young-Hae Chang HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Zhou Zixi