Visual Culture Research Center announces The Kyiv International – ’68 NOW program. The events will take place on May 11–25 in the Kyiv’s House of Cinema in the format of an international forum for art and knowledge with participation of such outstanding contemporary philosophers and historians as Jacques Rancière (France), Chantal Mouffe (Belgium), Aleida Assmann (Germany), Agnes Heller (Hungary) and Alexei Yurchak (USA).
The Kyiv International – ’68 NOW project explores the political and cultural heritage of the revolt and struggle of 1968, considering the antinomies of this moment for the West and East of Europe fifty years onward. It will open with the lecture by the French philosopher Jacques Rancière on Friday, 11 May at 19:00. The lecture will explore the motivations and practices of the French May 68 movement that focused on the relationship between the University system and capitalist domination and showed what politics means in terms of the power of collective invention. The lecture will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Ukrainian.
Amsterdam-based Experimental Jetset (Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers, and Danny van den Dungen), the graphic designers of The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017 and The Kyiv International – ’68 NOW, will present their ongoing research on the notion of the city as a platform for (graphic) language. In their presentation “Superstructure,” taking place on Saturday, May 12 at 16:00 the collective will focus on four main themes in their research – Constructivism, the Situationist International, Provo, and Post-Punk. The event will be held in English.
Sunday, May 13 at 16:00 the Croatian artist Igor Grubić will talk about his “366 Liberation Rituals” project which consists of different micro-political interventions into the public space and is based on the heritage of conceptual art practices of the former territories of Yugoslavia, Jean-Luc Godard’s political films, and the cultural strategies of the late 60s and early 70s. The event will be held in English.
Friday, May 18 at 19:00 “The Affects of Democracy” lecture by the Belgian political thinker Chantal Mouffe will take place. She will scrutinize the role of artistic practices in creating the affects that can be mobilized in order to create a collective will able to lend new vigor to the democratic ideal. The lecture will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Ukrainian.
The legacy of May 1968 remains a symbol of liberation and rebellion against entrenched power structures and a cultural and artistic benchmark for Western Europe. The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring and Soviet military invasion of Czechoslovakia – most immediate in Eastern Europe – continue to define political and cultural divides across the continent. On Saturday, May 19 at 16:00 “Living Newspaper: The Legacy of the Prague Spring Today,” a symposium with the participation of Zbyněk Baladrán, Pavel Barša (Czech Republic), Laďa Gažiová (Slovak Republic), Agnes Heller (Hungary), Viola Ježková, Kapitál collective (Czech Republic), Alexej Klyuykov (Russia), will take place. The participants will discuss one of the most immediate questions of the era – could the socialist model be reformed or not? The event will be held in English.
Sunday, May 20 at 19:00 screenings of the films Black and White (1968) by Krishna Vishwanath and Fugue on the Black Keys (1965) by Drahomíra Vihanová will be followed by the presentation “Filmmakers of the World, Unite!” by Tereza Stejskalová (transit.cz) on the amnesia in the cultural exchange related to the temporary stay of students from Non-Aligned countries in Czechoslovakia. At 14:00, at the artists’ studios at 33 Soshenko Street, Tokonoma (Germany) and 33 Soshenko (Ukraine) artists' collectives will also talk about their collaboration, which began at Documenta 14 in Kassel. The events will be held in English.
Wednesday, May 23 at 19:00 the German historian and cultural anthropologist Aleida Assmann will deliver a lecture “1968 in Germany – a Generation with Two Phases and Faces.” She will talk about the historical contribution of the German Generation ‘68 to the revolutionary movements of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s which have been formative in the emergence of a new Europe. The lecture will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Ukrainian.
The project will finish on Friday, May 25 at 19:00 with the lecture “Laboratory of the Future: Lenin’s Body between Biochemistry and Art” by the American cultural anthropologist Alexei Yurchak. He will talk about the intersection of the political, the artistic, and the biological in the unique project of preserving Lenin’s body. From this perspective, he will also consider the iconoclastic movements directed at images of Lenin today. The lecture will be held in Russian.
The full program of events can be found here. Address: The House of Cinema, 6 Saksahanskoho St. Admission to all events will be free of charge.
Organized by Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukraine). Emblem by Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam, 2018.
Institutional Partners: De Balie (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), European University Viadrina (Frankfurt (Oder), Germany), Krytyka Polityczna (Warsaw, Poland), Medusa Books (Kyiv, Ukraine), tranzit.cz (Prague, Czech Republic). With the Support of: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Goethe-Institut Ukraine, Prince Claus Fund.
Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) is an independent cultural institution based in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was founded in 2008 at the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy as a platform for collaboration between academic, artistic, and activist communities. In 2018 VCRC celebrates 10 years since the inception of the initiative engaged in publishing and artistic activities, scientific research, the organization of public lectures, discussions, conferences and art exhibitions. In 2015, Visual Culture Research Center received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award. VCRC was an organizer of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015, curated by Hedwig Saxenhuber and Georg Schöllhammer (Austria). In 2017, VCRC organized and curated The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017 aimed to explore and reveal the emancipatory potential in the idea of the political International through a series of exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, seminars, and workshops led by well-known international historians, philosophers, economists, and practitioners in the cultural sector.