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Exhibition by an artistic group formed by five young Ukrainian artists opens at The PinchukArtCentre
Pavlo Kovach, artist, member of Open Group.

KIEV.- The PinchukArtCentre presents the second “PAC-UA Re-consideration” project - an exhibition by Open Group, an artistic group formed by five young Ukrainian artists Yuriy Biley, Anton Varga, Pavlo Kovach, Yevgen Samborsky, and Stanislav Turina. “Biography” is a result of collaboration of the Open Group with Lviv-based artist Yuriy Sokolov invited to join a group to explore collaboratively the notion of biography today. The show researches the idea of self-representation, it looks into how this notion is being transformed today, when the image of a person is created by the digital media around him/her.

The whole exhibition is based on the audience engagement, starting with a letter written by Yuriy Sokolov calling people to submit their biographies for the project. As a source of inspiration Sokolov refers to an abstract from the text by Daniil Kharms with the key message that “a human being is part of the world”. In the course of the exhibition, which is an ongoing performative action, the audience is encouraged to write autobiographies that will be transformed by the artists. The biographies will be read, voiced in the exhibition space, documented and stored to generate the Open Group’s “archive” that will be gradually materialized within the exhibition.

Everyone can submit his/her biography by writing it down and bring it personally to the PinchukArtCentre

Open Group: “Biographies may be signed/anonymous, short/long, true/made up, and so forth. Your biography will be part of the project, and you will become part of the Open Group!”

Starting from the contradiction locked inside the word “biography”, literally meaning “life” and “writing”, the artists think of ambivalence between present and past, moment and record, spontaneity and automatic writing. They are mixing up a conventional understanding of a biography, which is seen in oral tradition and classical writing, with today’s understanding of the individual in flux, when she/he is perceived as a product of social interaction. The exhibition questions social networking that favours total “democratization” of a person and offers every individual a possibility to create a myth around him/herself. By collecting biographies the artists respond to the today's ambition of the audience to show emotions and create knowledge about them in a common shared space, in a way meeting their aspirations to become a producer rather than a consumer.

Bjrn Geldhof, Deputy artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre, co-curator of the show: “After winning the Special PinchukArtCentre Prize 2013 Open Group presents their second large-scale project, actively engaging public and public space into development of a new work, called “Biography”. Challenging the notions of self-representation and a personal image which is more and more constructed around social media, the individual has somehow lost control over the way that the world looks at him or her.”

In the course of the exhibition artists expect people to rethink their perception of the self-representation, in the meantime touching the notion of a mobile or, put it differently, a constantly changing identity that has appeared in the social networking today.

The exhibition is organised and co-curated by Bjorn Geldhof, Deputy Artistic Director of the PinchukArtCentre, and Tatiana Kochubinska, junior curator of the PinchukArtCentre.

The show is open on the 4th floor in the “PAC-UA” space from 10 July till 24 August, 2014.

“PAC-UA Re-consideration” is a new exhibitions series of the PinchukArtCentre that researches the relations and influences between Ukrainian art scene of today and artistic practices of the past. It discovers the continuity of tradition in the context of interrupted development of Ukrainian art history, showing new works created by new generation of artists inspired by older artistic positions. A solo show by Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze “TV Studios / Rooms without Doors” was the first show presented in the framework of “PAC-UA Re-consideration”.

Open Group was founded in Lviv in 2012 by five Ukrainian artists: Yuriy Biley (born 1988 in Uzhorod), Anton Varga (born 1989 in Uzhgorod), Pavlo Kovach (born 1987 in Uzhgorod), Yevgen Samborsky (born 1984 in Ivano-Frankivsk), Stanislav Turina (born 1988 in Makeevka in the Donetsk region). In a process of building temporal, open “galleries” in public places, Open Group creates space, both physical and psychological, to engage artistic discourse and question the gallery as a curated and/or commercial space. Open Group consists of five founding members but continuously invites “anyone” to join the group and contribute to its artistic output.

Last year Open Group was nominated for the PinchukArtCentre Prize, the first private nationwide art prize for all Ukrainian artists up to 35. By the decision of the international jury Open Group with its project Ars longa, vita brevis won the Special prize of the PinchukArtCentre Prize 2013.

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