Kiev has now officially joined the global marathon of art biennials which over the last few years has only shown signs of gaining momentum, particularly in the so-called new markets. The First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art is curated by the British-born David Elliott and its motto has been borrowed from Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, a novel set in the times of the French Revolution: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art. In Ukraine, as in other countries of the former Socialist bloc, Charles Dickens was very popular - as well as accepted by the regime - during the Soviet era; thus the quotation incorporated into the title symbolically suggests the direction the Kiev Biennale has chosen to take: while not aiming to emphasise the political background and its reflections in art, the new art forum certainly also does not attempt to disassociate from them, both in the historical and contemporary respect. The initiators of the Biennale were the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, as well as the municipality of Kiev; in the press release, the country's Minister of Culture is citing transforming Kiev into one of the world's capitals of culture as the main ambition behind the Biennale. Read more...
St. Lavrska, 10-12