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FROM UKRAINE: DARE TO DREAM OPENS IN VENICE A Collateral Event of the 60th International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia Presented by the PinchukArtCentre and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation

Venice, Italy, 19 April 2024 - The Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the PinchukArtCentre present an official collateral event of the 60th International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia. Entitled From Ukraine: Dare to Dream, when the world is in constant fear, the exhibition opened at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice on 18 April 2024 and is open until 1 August 2024.

The official opening included the address of Victor Pinchuk, businessman, philanthropist and founder of the PinchukArtCentre where he called on attendees of the Venice Biennale: “I don’t want to have a situation in 20 or 30 years when someone will make an exhibition about my country - Ukraine - that was destroyed.”

There were also remarks from Hanna Vasyk, junior sergeant of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and previously head of the programs of the PinchukArtCentre, Björn Geldhof, artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre, Gabrielle Goliath, Future Generation Art Prize Winner 2019 and Shilpa Gupta, one of the artists exhibiting in From Ukraine: Dare to Dream.  

Victor Pinchuk, businessman and philanthropist, founder of the PinchukArtCentre said:

“There are now 26 wars and conflicts round the world, in Africa, Asia and in Europe - in my loved country, Ukraine. [At the Venice Biennale 2024] I have seen many artworks about the colonial past and beautiful ornaments of civilisations that were destroyed by previous colonial powers. I met representatives of nations that were almost extinct - I don’t want to have a situation in 20 or 30 years when someone will make an exhibition about my country – Ukraine - that was destroyed, how thousands if not millions of Ukrainians were killed.

“I don’t want to have a situation when we have to remind ourselves about beautiful, free people that existed in this country, 20 or 30 years ago. I don’t want to have a situation when great artists are inspired by great Ukrainian tragedies, we need your inspiration now. You have to inspire decision makers because we have a really great chance to build a fantastic future. I believe that these exhibitions [From Ukraine: Dare to Dream, the Ukrainian and Polish Pavilions] will contribute to our victory.”

Hanna Vasyk, Junior sergeant of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, combat medic and previously head of the programs of the PinchukArtCentre said:

“If Ukraine doesn’t win [the war], we will no longer exist – neither our art nor our culture. By joining the army and going into combat, you’re making a huge step into the total and absolute uncertainty. Before going into combat you have to accept your death, you have to accept possible injury or captivity.  But at the same time you have to dream to stand on to continue your fight. We don’t know what is going to happen in an hour or if tomorrow happens at all. What would you dream about if you knew tomorrow was your last day or even tonight? …what would you dream to survive? Let us try not to die together, let us live together.

Björn Geldhof, artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre and curator of From Ukraine: Dare to Dream, said:

“This exhibition dares to dream, while being anchored in brutal reality of war and suffering in Ukraine and beyond. Therefore it is both a challenge and a call to action. Not to act and to remain motionless, would be immoral. We believe that culture cannot be motionless, it should take a stand with Ukraine, against oppression, for a world that can dream and be better!

About the exhibition

From Ukraine: Dare to Dream asks: ‘Can we imagine tomorrow? Do we have the courage to dream?’ The world has reached an inflection point: storms and climate change ravage lands far and wide, political extremes are seizing momentum. Russia's war in Ukraine unveiled an ongoing global power struggle that has brought war back to Europe. We are at a crucial moment where the future is hidden while fundamental changes are on the horizon. The exhibition is a continuation of PinchukArtCentre’s proactive engagement with Ukrainian art on a global and national stage since the outbreak of war in 2022. 

The exhibition weaves a tapestry of stories and hopes grown within the shadows of global conflicts, including 22 artists and collectives:

Alex Baczyński-Jenkins, Poland/UK

Anna Zvyagintseva, Ukraine

Anton Saenko, Ukraine

Dana Kavelina, Ukraine

Daniil Revkovskiy and Andriy Rachinskiy, Ukraine

David Claerbout, Belgium

Fatma Bucak, Turkey

Fedir Tetianych, Ukraine

Jennifer Allora, USA and Guillermo Calzadilla, Cuba

Kateryna Aliinyk, Ukraine

Kateryna Lysovenko, Ukraine/Austria

Lesia Khomenko, Ukraine/USA

Nikita Kadan, Ukraine

Nikolay Karabinovych, Ukraine

Oleg Holosiy, Ukraine

Oleksiy Sai, Ukraine

Otobong Nkanga, Nigeria/Belgium

Roman Khimei and Yarema Malashchuk, Ukraine

Shilpa Gupta, India

Wilfredo Prieto, Cuba

Yana Kononova, Ukraine

Zhanna Kadyrova, Ukraine

Departing from Ukrainian lands and its history of forced migration, the exhibition provides a platform for subdued voices worldwide, offering songs of resistance and resilience. It addresses Earth’s ecological disasters while imagining a new utopia, where mythology merges into an alternative garden of Eden. Exhausted landscapes bear witness to human violence—from extractive economies to the harsh realities of war—while carrying seeds of a new beginning. Amidst these overwhelming circumstances, the fragility of the individual is blossoming yet at risk. Its shadow is cast by touches, movement of nuanced lines as a part of unspoken verse, scenes of normality that question reality. They all converge into a possibility of acceptance.  

Can many struggles become the joint creation of a better future? After liberation, can former victims co-exist with former aggressors? Can empathy offer ways of common being in a space of conflicting memories?

As the first centre for contemporary art in Ukraine, the PinchukArtCentre is a leading voice in developing the Ukrainian art scene; since the outbreak of war in 2022, it has played a vital role in protecting and promoting Ukrainian art and culture. At the 59th Venice Biennale, The PinchukArtCentre organized the collateral event This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom which brought new and historical works by Ukrainian artists to Venice, and saw President Zelensky give his first public speech on art at the opening of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a dedicated audio guide Guide-ID created in collaboration with the artists.

Special thanks to VIDI Square for their exceptional support of the exhibition.

Location: Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Sestiere Dorsoduro, 874, 30123, Venice, Italy 

Opening Period: 20 April – 1 August 2024

Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm every day except Monday

Preview Days: 17th – 19th April 2024

Commissioned and promoted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation 

Organised by the PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine 

Curated by Björn Geldhof, Ksenia Malykh, Oleksandra Pogrebnyak. Assistant Curator: Oksana Chornobrova

Photos are available here

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Created and supported by: «Art Depo» Creative Agency