Zhanna Kadyrova, Behind the Fence, 2014, Image courtesy Victor Farías.
Curated by Svitlana Biedarieva and Hanna Deikun
“At the Front Line. Ukrainian Art, 2013-2019” explores how visual artists and contemporary filmmakers interpret and influence the turbulent political and cultural situation in Ukraine of the last six years: from the civic protests in Kyiv (2013-2014) to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the military conflict with Russia in the east of the country (2014-today). Our purpose is not only to show Ukrainian contemporary art, but also to organize documentary screenings and debates, giving word to artists, filmmakers, and historians. It is the first project in Mexico that focuses on Ukrainian contemporary art and documentary. It is also the first large-scale showcase of prominent Ukrainian artists in Latin America. It focuses on establishing an intercontinental connection and the development of new artistic and academic collaborations between the regions. The project takes place between September 2019 and January 2020 in Mexico City. It involves three important cultural venues in Mexico City: The National Museum of Cultures of the World (Museo Nacional de las Culturas del Mundo), The Museum of Memory and Tolerance (Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia), and the National Cineteca (Cineteca Nacional).
Yevgenia Belorusets, Victories of the Defeated, 2014-2018. Image courtesy Victor Farías
The National Museum of Cultures hosts an exhibition of leading Ukrainian artists from 25 September to 2 February. The participants include Yevgen Nikiforov, Piotr Armianovsky, Olia Mykhailiuk, Roman Minin, Yevgenia Belorusets, Kristina Norman, Lada Nakonechna, Mykola Ridnyi, Yuri Koval, Anton Popernyak, Roman Mikhailov, Svitlana Biedarieva, and documentation of works from the Platform “Izolyatsia” (Daniel Buren, Pascale Marthine).
The Museum of Memory and Tolerance provided the space for both Ukrainian and Mexican academics and artists who in four roundtables discussed the recent political and cultural situation in Ukraine. These discussions took place 5, 12, 19, and 26 October 2019.
On 8-14 November 2019, 10 documentaries by Ukrainian and international filmmakers were presented at the National Cineteca. The participating filmmakers were Sergii Loznytsia, Tania Khodakivska, Kateryna Gornostai, Maria Stoianova, Piotr Armyanovski, Oleksandr Techinskyi, among others. The second series of screenings of Ukrainian documentaries will be held at the National Cineteca on 25 January – 1 February 2020.
Svitlana Biedarieva, The Morphology of War, 2017. Image courtesy Victor Farías
Our goal is to fuel an intercultural dialogue about the place and possibilities of contemporary art in the context of a turbulent local political, economic, and cultural situation. This exhibition is aimed at helping establish stronger connections between the two countries, Mexico and Ukraine and exploring how art can demonstrate similar social concerns in different cultural conditions.
Mexican, Ukrainian, and international artists and academics have the possibility to explore how artists reflect on civic protests and local and international conflicts, as well as how the turbulent times encourage art production at the front line. To achieve this goal, we have gathered a team of Ukrainian artists, many of whom are well-known in Ukraine and the world, having participated in large-scale international events, such as the Venice Biennale, the Manifesta and the Documenta, among others.
For further information about the project, visit its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lalineadelfrente2019/.
Olia Mykhailiuk, Just Went Away, 2015. Image courtesy Victor Farías
Lada Nakonechna, The So-Called, 2015. Image courtesy Victor Farías