LIZAVETA GERMAN IN CONVERSATION WITH TARAS FEDIRKO
SAMSTAG, 30.09. 2023 / 17h00,
AKADEMIE DER BILDENDEN KÜNSTE WIEN, SITZUNGSSAAL
Ukrainian artists have taken up the task of bearing witness to the Russian full-scale invasion, despite the obvious challenges they face: the wartime state apparatus has diverted resources from the cultural sector, leaving cultural workers to fill in the gaps; artists and curators are scattered across the country and abroad, some are serving in the armed forces. The Ukrainian cultural scene’s ability to survive in conditions that might seem adverse for making art did not arise overnight; its roots could be traced far back, whether to the Soviet 1960s, the early years of independence, or the post-Maidan era. Leading Ukrainian curator LIZAVETA GERMAN speaks with anthropologist TARAS FEDIRKO (University of Glasgow) about how to understand the Ukrainian art community today.
© YEVHEN NIKIFOROV
Lizaveta German, curator and art historian. Co-founder of The Naked Room, Kyiv. Co-curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion, 59th La Biennale di Venezia. Lizaveta received her MA degree in Art History at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. In 2016, she received a PhD degree in Art History there. In 2016 she was placed as a curator-in-residence at Liverpool Biennial, supported by British Council Ukraine. In 2015, together with Olha Balashova she published a book The Art of Ukrainian Sixties (republished in English in 2021). And in 2017 they co-edited Decommunised: Ukrainian Soviet Mosaics book. In 2022 she presented the National Pavilion of Ukraine at Harvard, supported by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Community Renewal Fund, and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Since 2014, Lizaveta has been working with Maria Lanko as a curatorial collective. The duo organised more than 30 exhibitions in Ukraine, including National Art Museum of Ukraine, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Goethe-Institut, British Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ukrainian Institute. In 2015, they opened a show in Badischer Kunstverein Karlsruhe, as a part of Kyiv Biennial–School of Kyiv project. In 2017 Maria and Lizaveta co-curated (together with Kateryna Filyuk) Festival of Young Ukrainian Art at Mystetskyi Arsenal, the first all-Ukrainian biennial for contemporary art. Since 2020, Maria and Lizaveta have been teaching at Skvot.IO on-line school, System of Contemporary Art course. In 2021 their project with the artist Pavlo Makov (co-curated by Borys Filonenko), Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta was chosen to represent Ukraine at 59th La Biennale di Venezia. Beside the national pavilion, in 2022 Lizaveta co-curated Piazza Ucraina project and Decolonising Art. Beyond the Obvious interdisciplinary programme as part of International Art Exhibition. Lizaveta is currently working on a book about wartime art exhibitions and curatorial practices in Ukraine since 2022 (IST Publishing, 2024).