Ukraine is under siege following a full-scale military invasion by Russia on 24 February 2022
Feb. 18, 2019, 8:20 p.m.
February 22, the British Council in Ukraine in partnership with Liverpool Biennial presents the exhibition Fragile State, bringing the artistic residency programme SWAP: UK/UKRAINE 2018 to its conclusion.
SWAP: UK/UKRAINE is an annual artistic residency programme for artists from the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Since 2016, the programme connects artists from the two countries, enabling them to exchange their experience with one other, to support their professional development, and to improve their internationalisation. The participating artists and curators can conduct their research in a partner country, reflecting and exploring the contexts of both states.
Curator, Residency Programme in Liverpool — Lina Romanukha;
Artists, Residency Programme in Liverpool — Anna Kakhiani, Nikolay Karabinovych, Victoria Myronyuk.
Artist, Residency Programme in Ukraine — Dana Venezia, Helen Flanagan, Jaimini Patel, Martim Ramos, Riccardo Matlakas, Susannah Stark.
On October 22, 2018, the UK-based artist Helen Flanagan, (Birmingham, the UK) arrived as a guest artist in Ukraine and took part in the Residency Programme at IZOLYATSIA. As well as this, Lina Romanukha, a programme curator at IZOLYATSIA, was the only curator from Ukraine to take part in the SWAP: UK/UKRAINE 2018 programme in Liverpool during November — December 2018.
The results of the joint international artistic residency programme and the participants’ visual research will be displayed at the Museum of Odesa Modern Art from February 22 till March 31, 2019. The choice of the final event’s venue is not an accident. Odesa is a twinned city of Liverpool, while both cities, Liverpool in the UK and Odesa in Ukraine, are hosting international Biennales of contemporary art. Since 2013, the Museum of Odesa Modern Art has been hosting the Biennale of Contemporary Art in the Ukrainian city. The decision to hold the exhibition in Odesa was also determined by the intention of the project’s Consortium to engage the city in the global, and more specifically in the UK-Ukraine cultural dialogue, to stimulate the evolution of the local cultural landscape within a broader-scale decentralisation.
The exhibition’s title, Fragile State, reflects upon the political, emotional and social contexts represented in the work of the nine Ukrainian and British artists. According to the curators of the Fragile State exhibition, Lina Romanuka and Ilya Zabolotnyi (British Council in Ukraine):
"When we started working on the final exhibition, we soon noted that all the resident artists were appealing to varying degrees of vulnerability in their works, to uncertainty and sudden, frightening expectations of change. The range of these experiences encompasses both personal physical experiences, emotions, hidden traumas, and global geopolitical challenges: militarisation, territorial demarcation and the crisis of established social paradigms. In the works presented at this exhibition, the artists are working with a broad spectrum of expressive methods: video installations, sound compositions, graphic works, texts, objects and photography. Some put their bodies to use for artistic reflection, and one has included a model of a tank in a piece."
"The global cross-cultural communication created through artistic residences is an important part of the international dialogue. Cooperation between countries as different as the United Kingdom and Ukraine provides a base for interesting reflection and innovation in culture generally and in contemporary visual art in particular"
— the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Odesa Semen Kantor adds.
Simon Williams, the Director of the British Council in Ukraine, states that the SWAP project aims to foster a dialogue between the two countries through the Contemporary Arts and Culture. Three years in a row, the artistic residency programme has been providing the artists with the opportunity to exchange their experiences, to cooperate. Thus, the agenda of the British Council is contributing to the development of strategic partnership among the countries.
February 22 — March 31, 2019
The Museum of Odesa Modern Art