KYIV, UKRAINE.- Center for Contemporary Art presents Exteriors, on view through 25 November 2007. Exteriors, an exhibition and a series of related projects, initiated and curated by Index-the Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation in Stockholm, takes it starting point in contemporary art practice and an interest taken in various notions of public space. Considering the fact that modern societies under the pressure of individualism, neo-liberalism and global markets are undergoing a crucial process of redefining and rearranging individual and collective values that condition both the private and public life, Exteriors offers a situation where a local context can be put under scrutiny and viewed from different perspectives.
Exteriors assembles a series of attempts to, through artistic investigation and intervention, activate public space seen as the actual cityscape, the most evident example of current developments. In addition it offers a discussion about the art institution, understood as yet another form of public space, posing the question about its possibility to mirror and question the wider notion of public life. Art institutions have since some time gone through a flux, through a moment of redefinition where exhibiting and researching has been completed by what engages contemporary art in the quotidian, offering an interest in a wider spectrum of contemporary society.
Exteriors as an exhibition looks at the role and current conditions of the Ukrainian art institutions, now linked to the situation in general for art in the Middle and Eastern Europe after the downfall of the Soviet Union and in the wake of EU's Eastern expansion. It furthermore investigates how history is constructed and inscribed into contemporary culture, and, how art, as a commodity in an ever faster growing consumer culture, interacts with and mirrors developments within contemporary urban society and economy. By re-directing the discussion back into the art institution itself it also shows an ambition to discuss certain complex relationships, functioning like interfaces between architecture, design, politics and, in the end, society.
Thereby the exhibition Exteriors opts to move beyond the meaning of exterior as a surface, beyond the idea of the facade, instead making an effort to highlight and penetrate certain issues in depth. Time is crucial in this case, allowing different artistic practice in: all participants have been commissioned to produce new works especially for the show, which also includes already ongoing projects. During the fall of 2007, a book will be published with contributions from the artists, and with texts by Boris Buden (philosopher, Vienna), Olesya Ostrovska (freelance curator and writer, Kyiv), Catharina Gabrielsson (architect, Stockholm), and the curatorial team. An additional presentation will take place in Odessa in late November.
CCC-K (Center for Communication and Context Kyiv: Ingela Johansson (SE), Volydymir Kuznetsov (UA), Inga Zimprich (DE) is a collaborative effort where three artists through a long-term research based art project, Post Funding Eastern Europe, are looking at current conditions for contemporary art in Ukraine and other post-communist countries. Beside their presentation at the CCA, and as a part of Exteriors, CCC-K will host an event at the Artist Union gallery in Odessa, 24 November 9 December, with focus devoted to Odessas present and historical art-scene.
Markus Degerman (SE) contributes to the discussion on public space by directing it towards the art institution and its structures. An additional wall has been erected inside the space of the CCA, examining relations to already existing architectural features. In the heart of Markus Degerman's artistic projects lies an ambition to investigate the connections between the concrete physical forms of society and its underlying implications, thereby making political power structures and aesthetic values visually recognisable.
Alevtina Kakhidze (UA) present drawings, which are portrays of artworks, or drawings lining out the contours of objects of desire. By drawing these objects she appropriates them, claiming them to make a part of her Private Collection, which is also the title of her work. The presentation at CCA also encompasses drawings in eight glass cases on the street walk of Khreshchatyk shopping area in central Kyiv: art in display cabinets inserted in the context of other commercial goods for sale, now commenting on art's position as commodity in an consumer culture escalating day by day.
Martin Karlsson's (SE) work looks at how history is inscribed into contemporary culture, and how history is being constructed and used as a tool for defining national and individual identity as well as the society as a whole. In his project for Kyiv, the artist has documented the activities of local re-enactment group 1st Platoon. The group nourishes a specific interest in the Vietnam War, in which a large number of immigrants from Ukraine fought for the US. Wearing the traditional uniforms, the group has been placed in the setting of Pyrohovo Museum of Folk Architecture and Life, a famous outdoors museum in Kyiv.
Lada Nakonechna's (UA) new film for the exhibition Exteriors shows an all too familiar scenario from the quotidian of Kyiv street life: a traffic jam with cars advancing in a slow and never ending procession. The film focuses the shooting flares beaming out of the shiny car chrome due to the fact that the filming session happened in a very stark and bright sunlight. Taking the city as a setting for her two works included in the show - Lada Nakonechna also inaugurates a public event in a street passage in central Kyiv where the audience is offered the possibility to walk a version of the typical premiere red carpet- her work turns into an attempt to describe current developments within contemporary Ukrainian economy and urban society.