Art is quite comfortable with the idea of the end of art. But how can art deal with the end of the world?

Zygmunt Bauman, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Sebastian Cichocki, Boris Groys, Maria Hlavajova, Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania, Artem Magun, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Renata Salecl, Simon Sheikh, Slawomir Sierakowski, Oksana Timofeeva, Anton Vidokle

Contributing Artists:
Luchezar Bojadjiev, Dora Garcia, Dan Perjovschi, Gruppa Predmetov, Roee Rosen, Andreas Siekmann, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Oleksandr Wolodarsky and others

Curated by Ekaterina Degot

The popular fantasy of the end of the universe coming in 2012 has recently acquired unexpected political significance. There is a growing conviction that the world as we know it should end. In fact, the resounding crash of global financial capitalism and spectacular manifestations of discontent all over the world are telling us that the world of unrestrained consumption is already on its deathbed. Why wait passively until the system decomposes by itself—until “the world ends”? Why not start inventing a new world, the one that will succeed the current apocalypse?

The utopian tradition of the artistic reinvention of society has become a political necessity today. The basic question of the platform and the accompanying publication—”What is and what should never be?”—is addressed not to professional politicians and economists, but rather to artists, philosophers, activists and theoreticians. We expect that the answers to this question will contribute to the process of inventing our postapocalyptic world anew, with a particular focus on the situation of “art after the end of the world.” We are aware of the pivotal role of the institution of contemporary art within neocapitalism—contemporary art with its logic of innovation and postindustrial immaterial practice, with its spirit of resistance (so often defeatist) and its critical attitude (so easy to domesticate). In any case, we believe that the artistic ability to see the horizons of an uncertain future and to create the vector of the possible is priceless.

These issues are not to be considered from a neutral, totalizing, “globalized” point of view. Rather, our suggestion is rooted in the experience of an “apocalypse” that for more than two decades now has defined the context where the Kyiv Biennial is about to take place. The collapse of symbolic that occurred with the end of “socialism” in the Soviet bloc is comparable to the ongoing fall of the global neocapitalist system. This experience seems to be gaining new significance nowadays, as similar threats are becoming universal.

The platform is an extended event structured as a series of discussions, talks, lectures and seminars. A publication forthcoming in summer 2012 will sum up the project.

February 29 – Lecture by Simon Sheikh
March 23 – Lecture by Anton Vidokle
April 6–8 – Conference with Zygmunt Bauman, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Sebastian Cichocki, Maria Hlavajova, Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania, Artem Magun, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Slawomir Sierakowski, Oksana Timofeeva
May 7 – Lecture by Franco “Bifo” Berardi
May 14 – Lecture by Boris Groys
May 25 – Lecture by Renata Salecl

Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv
Lavrska street 10-12

The platform will take place in the frame of the 1st Kyiv Biennial Arsenale 2012. The main exhibition of the Biennial will be curated by David Elliott (23 May–30 July 2012).

Read more about Kyiv Biennial