Odessa Biennale of Contemporary Art Self-government: cultural evolution vs. revolution

We suggest that project participants should present research results on arousing contradictions between freedom (of a personality, small social groups, large collectivities and global community) and inevitable restrictions of freedom that emerge under different forms of self-government. We look forward to suggested ways of resolving (or “removing”) such contradictions.

Given different obvious “symptoms” of diseases peculiar to self-government systems in the context of modern capitalism we are interested in the following issues:
1. Are these symptoms temporary “failures”? Is it possible for capitalism to “smooth over” or “resolve” various intolerable contradictions of its development in the current globalist phase? If it is then how will it do it?
2. If the ways of self-government derived by capitalism suffer a regular crisis, are there any non-utopian alternatives? Which ones?
3. As a result of a typologically similar crisis with disastrous consequences in the initial period of global capitalism (“imperialism”) a number of states in Central and Eastern Europe witnessed revolutions that brought about such form of public self-government as totalitarian political regimes. Would the “global triumph” of “direct democracy” ideas turn into an invariant of totalitarianism? Can revolutions with a different outcome occur nowadays?
We suggest that research results should be represented by means of artistic reflections, rather than direct political campaigns or economic, sociological, psychological discourses, etc. Artistic reflection within the proposed theme may be realized in different modes (including documentary, manifest and action-oriented ones), though confined to the Art field.
At the same time we proceed from the principle of subjectivity which shows that Art cannot be unbiased taking into account ideological and political aspects.
The project will be launched in Odessa. Nowadays Odessa is a usual regional center of a peripheral state which lacks a developed net of contemporary art institutions as well as regular contacts with such institutions. Odessa does not have any “exotic peculiarities” that would make art of many other so called “third world” countries consumer-attractive. There is no art market in Odessa; there are neither “progressive governors” nor oligarchs sustaining contemporary art. In this respect Odessa appears to be the best target for those who really oppose commercialization and other symptoms of “consumer society” in the contemporary world art process.
On the other hand, Odessa is by no means an anonymous dot on the map of the global culture; it is the world famous city due to the Art and Revolution.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, the project organizers’ budget has not yet been enough to cover travel, accommodation and production costs of potential project participants. We offer to take the very project planning process (including virtual discussions, debates, business correspondence) as an artwork that deals with voluntary self-containment, or as freedom in terms of longing for practical implementation of desired plans.
The organizers still hope to attract essential funds for the project realization as soon as they receive specific proposals from the project applicants.

The project “Self-government: Cultural Evolution vs. Revolution” has been chosen as the major one in the program of III Odessa Biennale organized by the Odessa Museum of Modern Art.
The project presentation will be made in exhibition halls of several Odessa museums and galleries, as well as in the number of alternative locations.
The program of the project includes conferences, round tables, panel discussions, educational program.
Terms of participation in the project, click here.
Co-curators of the project: Mikhail Rashkovetsky, Miroslav Kulchitsky

Мирослав Кульчицкий: искусство невозможно втиснуть в рамки

День художника и подведение итогов масштабной Третьей Одесской биеннале современного искусства стали двойным поводом для беседы ТАЙМЕРА с куратором биеннале, известным одесским и международным художником Мирославом Кульчицким.

Профессиональный праздник для всех художников вроде бы общий, но есть ведь различия между мастерами, отдающими предпочтение традициям и использующим современные технологии и приёмы?

Вообще-то, я не склонен рассматривать «современное искусство» как что-то отдельное от «искусства». В моём понимании, современный художник – это и есть художник в полном смысле этого слова. Тот, кто занимается изобретением художественных моделей, моделей существования и действия здесь-и-сейчас. Для художника главное – талант изобретателя и понимание исторического контекста, в котором он творит. Что до «мастеров, отдающих предпочтение традициям» – я бы не рискнул назвать их художниками. Скорее, это ремесленники-подражатели, производители сувенирной продукции…
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