Posts Tagged with open letter

Date: 20.04.2015 - 15:54 |

Dear Eckhard Schneider and Bjorn Geldhof!

In 2011 you received my quite critical and sharp open letter , criticizing activity of PinchukArtCentre. In 4 years, I'd like to change my position and say that I do not boycott your institution anymore. It's again public statement; I place it in my blog and share via social networks. Actually within all the period of 4 years my boycott haven't had full nature: I visited exhibitions and educational events at PAC, at the same time have been keeping passive position and have not applied to awards, as key critical points of my previous letter were related to organization of awards and process of selection of nominees. In this second edition of letter I want to change my position and clarify my decision, to make my position more comprehensible. First, I'd like to say that within this period of 4 years I have observed quite consistent work of your institution with Ukrainian young artists and this makes my previous complains and concerns not valid anymore. It's not critical for me whether my letter had influence on this or it happened by itself, the key matter has result. The main problem that I observed and that made me to write my quite aggressive letter is the fact that it was obvious miscommunication between local artistic community and administration of PAC; at the same time there was not any public discussions, no critical texts that reflected this situation and no attempts from both sides to start the dialog. As I know and you know actually there are two types of line in front of PAC - one is formed from audience and second (more conventional) from artists, who want to participate in Ukraine's got talent edition for contemporary artists. My only desire was to leave the second type of line and raise the questions that nobody asks, as in terms of local artistic situation it was more important step for me than to stay with opportunity to apply for the chance to hang my fake concrete spheres in your institution. I really hope that you understood my gesture correctly and took it rather not as a cause of abuse but rather as a symptom that something in a policy of your institution needed to be revised. As I see now, something is revised and because of this, I see no reasons to prolong my boycott anymore.

My second reason is based upon observation of situation around demolition of the work of Volodymyr Kyznetsov "Koliivshchyna" and related public boycott of Mystetskyi Arsenal by Art Workers’ Self-defense Initiative. The situation revealed for me that boycott is deadlock form of protest. It results in conflict and dead-point as the only fair form of boycott is to boycott and keep silence afterwards. Otherwise, it turns into PR campaign of those who initiates co-called boycott. Looking from outside on situation with "Koliiivshchyna" I also found out that despite monstrosity of mistake of Nataliya Zabolotna, Mystetsyi Arsenal is one of a few artistic institutions that represent Ukrainian art on local and international level. Just for this reason, being aware of inadmissibility of act of censorship in artistic institution, I was one of those who didn't support the idea of boycott publicly and suggested that it's rather better to shift from boycott to dialog to solve the conflict around "Koliivshchyna". And because of this shift I'm quite critical at the moment about my personal idea to boycott PAC, as it's also one of a few institutions that represents Ukrainian art on local and international level.

At the same time I want to underline that skipping the boycott I remain objective and critical, and rather think at the moment that any situation of incomprehension and miscommunication is occasion for open discussion and dialog. Being contemporary artist, I understand that art today is a form of political activity, and works of artist is rather additional part of his/her ideological line. Open letter is one of the instruments that I use to outline my own position. I even think that being consistent in using this instrument, I can turn it into artistic media and publish one day the book with my open letters on artistic issues that will turn open letter into a new form of artistic expression. My position is not associated with left or right ideology, it's rather general awareness of own dignity, rights in terms of human rights, equality and justice. Understanding inaccessibility and utopian nature of all these notions, I still see at least aspiration to them as a base of any kind relationships I participate in. This is probably my own ideological line that I try to follow. In case these values are also valuable for you, I'm opened for any kind of cooperation and collaboration with you as experts and with PAC as an institution.