Today, a joint exhibition of British and Ukrainian artists SWAP: UK/Ukraine starts in the Kharkiv gallery of contemporary art Yermilov Center.
Eight artists – four Ukrainians and four British – who worked in art residencies in Ukraine and the UK in 2017 as part of the cultural exchange project, are showing the results of their visual studies. The exhibition will last until April 15, 2018.
The range of issues, highlighted by the project participants, is rather diverse. The artworks demonstrate the study of the female body in the public space and the psychological identification in the city. We may be seeing an utopia of some political manifestos, the results of local interpretation of beauty and even re-actualization of local country studies.
One of the participants is photographer Polina Karpova from Kharkiv who worked in Liverpool. Polina states she was interested in different aspects of British life, beauty of the odd people in the urban landscape and fixed those features which fascinated her the most or attracted her attention. Now, Kharkivites may see Polina’s absurd and ironic visual experiments at the exhibition.
Director of Yermilov Centre Natalia Ivanova says that recently the format of a residency has become an important part of the gallery work.
“Art enables us to find common values and to observe the things that distinguish us,” Ivanova states. “This is a modern artistic residency which presents us new cultural context and art practice, gives the artists an opportunity to promote their country in the world. Not only the residency is an important component of the intercultural dialogue – in this case, between Ukraine and Great Britain – but it’s also a part of global cross-cultural communication.”
Reference: Organizers of the SWAP: UK / Ukraine project are British Council in Ukraine and the Liverpool Biennale, the largest international festival of contemporary art in the UK.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: Yermilov Centre