Support program 2020

Small grants competition to support the cultural sector in Ukraine. The international organization CEC ArtsLink, in collaboration with the Platform for interdisciplinary practice Open Place, offered anti-crisis financial support to representatives of the independent cultural sector in Ukraine for projects in the visual arts. The support program in response to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was aimed at creating opportunities for new artistic works and research, developing skills and strengthening professional capacity.

The program supported individual applicants and creative teams with research and projects in the field of visual arts that comprehended the processes in art and society, initiate and develop new ideas, formats, and approaches in culture. Projects based on a critical stance and interdisciplinary projects were welcomed.
We received 65 robust applications from the individuals and collectives. 14 projects were supported (a total of 17 artists and researchers).
The activities within the selected projects ranged from researching Ukrainian vernacular photography to studying the creative industries sector in Ukraine; from finding alternative methods of education to analyzing political and economic challenges; from working with memory to rethinking the myths that are being built in Ukrainian society.

The winners of the 2020 competition: Asia Bazdireva, Anatoly Belov and Viktor Ruban, Uliana Bychenkova and Anna Shcherbyna, Andrii Dostliev, Aleksandra Kadzevych, Yelyzaveta Korneichuk, Garry Krayevets, Polina Limina and Hanna Oryshchenko, Larion Lozovoy, Vasyl Liakh, Tonya Melnik, Lada Nakonechna, Valentina Petrova, Maksym Khodak.

Supported projects

Asia Bazdireva
article, 2020
The text draws attention to important issues that should precede the simple appropriation of European environmental rhetoric. The test suggests looking at the narrative tool of catastrophe and the imagined end of humanity to draw attention to the non-universality of such concepts as time and imagination of the future. The peculiarities of European and Soviet modernity and the difference in their political and economic backgrounds should also be considered in criticism of the concepts of man and nature and their relationship. To ensure that the environment does not become an empty signifier, and that disaster is not the only operational scenario, we propose to focus on situated knowledge - naming the tangled experience of a particular land and its versions of time. They make possible not only alternatives to the Soviet version of history but also various possibilities for working with the imagination today.
Anatoly Belov and Viktor Ruban
research, 2020
The project has the idea of replacing the mystical ritual with artistic and performative, giving the Phrygian goddess Cybele new qualities - the patroness and protector of queer people. The project addresses the problem of representation of the LGBTQ+ community in Ukrainian society, where this community is often closed and seen as the different sects of interest. The project aims to unite people in one safe queer space through the ritual fairy tale game, to get to know and feel each other. Together, in a common space without rigid gender and sexual roles, to practice our physicality through guided by performers and psychedelic electronic music. The project aims to increase the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community and its inclusion in the general cultural context of Ukraine.
Uliana Bychenkova and Anna Shcherbyna
a series of reading meetings, 2020
The meetings are themed around the positional diversity of relations between textuality and materiality in the artistic and theoretical practices of contemporary feminist art. Possible positions: To delve in search of a different (not phallocentric) morpho-logic of expression; To incorporate text and reading into artistic practice by assigning them the status of a material object; To promote the practice of modesty of literature as a collaborator; To argue about the relationship between text and its maid illustration; Or other and other artistic tricks of mastering the relationship with the Theory. Joint readings and discussions are a space for engaging in dialogues between female artists and female theorists.
Andrii Dostliev
zin, 2020
The project aims to assemble an archive of Ukrainian vernacular photographs that met the eye of Soviet imperial optics. They were either destroyed (often along with their owners) or removed from their original context and hidden in the archives. All the textual descriptions and a few images come from the dossier of residents of the Soviet part of Ukraine who were repressed in the 1930s. They are part of Ukrainian culture that vanished after decades of colonial rule. They are just traces of someone's family photos, but also traces of the colonial gaze, which was the last to look at these photos and was forever imprinted in them.
Aleksandra Kadzevych
exhibition, 2020
The project deals with the dialectic of internal and external through the study of painting in relation to the surrounding space, as an object that can shape the perception of the territory and reveal its new complex meanings. Leaving her studio and her usual workspace, the artist decided to exhibit a new painting series in an unknown and almost uninhabited place, using the resources of this place, its territory, and its components. From being a passive participant in the exhibition, the artist becomes an organizer who shapes her own field and creates her own context.

Yelyzaveta Korneichuk
article, 2020
The project explores the visual component of the National Museum of Natural History's exposition —artworks by Ivan Yizhakevych, Fedir Krychevsky, Hennadii Hlickman, and other authors. The project resulted in the publication of the first descriptions of the works of Ivan Yizhakevych, Fedir Krychevsky, and Hennadii Hickman. The research materials were handed over to the museum team for further use and work with them. A discussion about Ukrainian paleoart and its further research has been started. The project contributes to the redefinition of the Museum of Nature as an art space and to the incorporation of its collection in an artistic context. The project outlined the first step in actualizing the museum as an alternative artistic platform. The team plans to continue working on unlocking the artistic potential of the Museum of Nature.
Garry Krayevets
publication, 2020
Publication, which summarizes the three years of functioning of the NOCH Gallery. The publication includes texts by artists and curators about the significance and importance of this gallery, which in three years managed to accumulate a small cultural community and support the launch of some artists' careers. Creating self-published materials was another important experience of the project. Some of the books were distributed to artists. The publication will help reach an audience beyond Odesa and inspire self-organized and non-institutional initiatives in other cities to continue working in this direction, developing and enriching the art field.
Polina Limina and Hanna Oryshchenko
research, 2020
How can we define Ukrainian art that was created away from the trends that prevailed in specific periods of time? Neither art brut nor naive art, outsider art, or marginalized creativity fully correspond to the local context. The project team chose the definition of provincial art to overcome a white spot in the country's cultural trends. During their expeditions to small towns and villages, they searched for artists whose works have their own logic and system but do not necessarily fit the tastes of elite art platforms. They researched and analyzed cultural life in Stryi, Smila, and Budy. The collected materials became the basis for the articles they wrote.
Larion Lozovoy
article, 2020
``Synergy and engagement`` is an artistic study of the interconnectedness of gentrification, the expansion of developers' capital, the digital economy, and the cultural sector's role in these contradictory processes. The author examines key examples of ``adaptive reuse`` of former industrial sites, such as factories and plants, which have become creative clusters or have been converted into luxury housing. Culture plays a central role in legitimizing such projects, smoothing out the contradictions of their implementation. Contemporary art finds itself in a precarious position: its inherent sensitivity to context conflicts with the obviousness of instrumentalization, conditions in which roles are assigned in advance.
Vasyl Liakh
documentary film, 2020
The plot of the film was based on a family legend about the director's grandmother-in-law, who, in the 1960s, buried the medals of her father in the garden. The chatting about the family history helped to highlight the patriarchal domination as an important feature of the seaside town, its past and present. The film documents the daily life of a fairly typical Mariupol family in a neighborhood near the port and interviews the heroes and heroines about the past.
Tonya Melnik
workshops on batik technique, 2020
Scarf-poster is a personal attribute of a political statement on fabric that recreates an existing poster used at a particular political event that was essential to the person or one's own statement that can also be used as a poster. The workshop participants were allowed to work in a comfortable environment and friendly atmosphere, to master the batik technique, and to create a piece of clothing. A series of video tutorials on the batik technique was also created so participants could work remotely.
Lada Nakonechna
artistic research, 2020
The research is based on the method that considers artworks as documents that testify to a specific social and political context. The basic assumption is that the aesthetics of socialist realism established a particular mode of vision. The project revealed the peculiarity of forming a disciplined vision, which historically occurred through the identification of the viewer's experience with the artistic image in the representational apparatus regulated by the one-party system. This process was facilitated by the artist's self-censorship, the adoption of a rigid representation policy, and self-imprisonment in perfecting the mastery of realistic style. Thus, art became a mechanism for taming the artist and the viewer. Lada Nakonechna created the series of drawings by copying black-and-white reproductions of painted landscapes from the Holostenko catalog.
Valentina Petrova
sculpture, 2020
In Oleshky Sands, a performative sculpture was created that is a monument to the landscape - in a very literal sense - not only as an artificially made object that, installed in a particular area, refers to it, marks it, but also as an artificially made object that repeats the landscape in which it is located. The material from which the sculpture was created (sand) is a physical dimension of the landscape. The elements that made up the basis of the sculpture (aircraft shell, sand, steppe vegetation) refer to the history of this area, to specific periods (including the present) filled with significant events. The form of the sculpture (three-layered, partially buried under the surface, rapid decay) is an allusion to time (relationships - past, present, future) and cyclicality.
Maksym Khodak
research, 2020
The project explores the current state of the neorusyn movement in the Zakarpattia region of Ukraine through the figure of Andy Warhol. The mockumentary resulting from this research will tell an alternative fictionalized story of Warhol's life. Andy does not die in 1987 but moves to Zakarpattia, the homeland of his ancestors, where he continues to engage in active artistic practice, reflecting on local processes. The author traces the use of the image of Andy Warhol as one of the national heroes of Rusyns.