Net Making at La Biennale di Venezia

Documenting Ukraine

The curators of the Ukrainian Pavilion are Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi. Each of the four projects addresses the Ukrainian experience of war and emigration, the otherness of Ukrainians. In Comfort Work, artists Andrii Dostliev and Lia Dostlieva explore expectations of European viewership regarding Ukrainian refugees. They hired 11 actors from the EU and the UK to play stereotypes of so called “comfortable refugees”. Civilians. Invasion by Andrii Rachynskyi and Daniil Revkovskyi is a documentary film compiled from open-source social media videos capturing the civilian experience of the full-scale Russian invasion. Oleksandr Burlaka’s Work is focused on the Ukrainian tradition of textile weaving and how it can transform into a therapeutic practice. Best Wishes by Katya Buchatska examines linguistic clichés amid war, and their use by neurodivergent people who participated in the inclusive art workshop where Katya worked with her colleague Olga Shyshlova.

The public programme of the Ukrainian Pavilion, focused on Earth and Water as symbols of pressing global issues, started on 17 April 2024 with a discussion featuring the curators of the pavilion Viktoriia Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi, as well as Lia Dostlieva, Andrii Dostliev, Vid Simoniti and Tetyana Filevska. The discussion centred around art amid wartime and related crises. Follow the Plants, a performance by Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze, presented an artistic perspective on the role of “invasive” species and humans in ecosystems. During the opening event, maps of bomb shelters of Venice were distributed among visitors to remind them that the threat of war is looming.

The public programme will resume in October, with discussions on approaches to decoloniality and challenges associated with water and air pollution, as well as a performance of GAIA – 24. Opera del mondo by composers Illia Razumeiko and Roman Grygoriv.

The Ukrainian Pavilion will be open to the public from 20 April through 24 November 2024.