September 27, 2019, 5 – 6:30 pm

Many thanks to the artist Nikita Kadan for his lecture Kmytiv phenomenon. The war in museum within the Studio Program at BAI | Berlin Artist Residency, Art School & Arts Incubator. The talk is dedicated to the phenomenon of Kmytiv Art Museum in Zhytomyr Region of Ukraine and to current political struggle around this institution.

Kmytiv museum of fine art named after J.Bukhanchuk (till 1991 institution was called ‘Museum of Soviet Art”) is a unique institution located in a small village in Zhytomyr Region. The collection of the museum includes about 3000 works of painting, graphics, sculpture and decorative arts of the second half of the twentieth century of various republics of the USSR. The museum was founded and developed by Joseph Bukhanchuk, a local collector, first as an art collection in a rural school. Since 1985, the museum collection has been exhibited in a magnificent neo-modernist building, built on the individual project of architect M. Severov.

Since 2019 at the Kmytiv Museum of Fine Arts named after Joseph Bukhanchuk was created a contemporary art department and the research program “Kmytiv Museum of Soviet Art”. The participants of this program study the phenomenon of the Kmytiv Museum, its history and collection. Art historian Yevhenia Molyar and artist and curator Leo Trotzenko run the residence in museum, and Nikita Kadan is curator of exhibition program in which contemporary art works are engaged in interpretation of Soviet heritage.

In early August of 2019, Zhytomyr extreme rightist politicians began to intervene in the activities of the museum to influence the content of its operation and cause controversy around its activities. The Deputies of the Regional Council of Zhytomyr Region, Olena Galaguza and Sydir Kіzіn, jointly with the ultra-rightwing support group, have initiated a campaign against the research initiatives and contemporary art displays at the museum, neglecting Ukrainian legislation and museum autonomy. Ignoring the content of the exhibitions, politicians object to the word “Soviet” which is present in the titles of the research program and curatorial platform, initiated by Nikita Kadan and Yevhenіya Molyar. During the meeting of the Standing Committee of Zhytomyr Regional Council, Sydir Kіzіn threatened the museum personnel with the prosecutor’s office which “will put behind bars”. Unfortunately, currently, the political speculations put in jeopardy the achievements and activities of the research platform.” (Text by courtesy of Nikita Kadan)

The talk of Nikita Kadan is organized in support of Kmytiv museum. Nikita will tell about history of new developments of museum, curatorial projects of contemporary art department of museum and about political clashes around the institution.

Nikita Kadan was born 1982 in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he lives and works today. He is a member of the artist group R.E.P. (Revolutionary Experimental Space, since 2004) and Co-founder and member of the Hudrada (Artistic committee, 2008) curatorial and activist group. He often works in interdisciplinary collaborations – with architects, human rights activists and sociologists. Kadan‘s work has been exhibited internationally, including exhibitions at mumok, Vienna (2014), CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2012), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2013), Castello di Rivoli, Torino (2013), 55th Venice Biennale – Palazzo Contarini Polignac (2013), Ukrainian pavillion at 56th Venice Biennale (2015), 14th Istanbul Biennale (2015), DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2014). He was nominated for the PinchukArtCentre Prize in 2009 and won it in 2011. In 2014 he was awarded the Special Prize of the Jury of The Future Generation Art Prize.

Currently Nikita Kadan is a resident of the BAI Residency Program at the BERLIN ART INSTITUTE as part of the EXTER program funded by the UKRAINIAN INSTITUTE. His recent show “Project of Ruins” at mumok, Vienna runs until October 06, 2019.

More information on the Nikita Kadan Website.