Under Elliott’s title “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art”, the Biennale will display art work by over 100 international and Ukrainian contemporary artists. All of the works will be on display in the historic Mystetskyi Arsenal from 24 May until 31 July 2012.
The biennale will present 40 new works made especially for the exhibition, including installations by Yayoi Kusama, Phyllida Barlow, Jitish Kallat, Boris Mikhailov and Fred Tomaselli.
The artist’s list includes the names of AES + F, Ai Wei Wei, Yael Bartana, John Bock, Louise Bourgeois, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Chto Delat, Rodney Graham, Shirazeh Houshiary, Liu Jianhua, Paul McCarthy, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Tracey Moffat, Rashid Rana, Arsen Savadov, Oleg Kulik and Yang Fudong.
Concerning the concept of the Biennale, David Elliott, Artistic Director of the main project, said:
“Most exhibitions made today are Eurocentric in their assumptions and relations to the art market. While not rejecting this, “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times” tries to present another picture, one that also takes into account the political and aesthetic developments that have shaped so much art of the present. In doing this the still reverberating impact of the cultural policies of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong are no more neglected than the much longer established but still vitally evolving aesthetic traditions of Asia, the Islamic world, Africa, of course Europe (and North America), and elsewhere and how these are impacted upon by contemporary life. Such influences as these and many more feed into the level platform we call contemporary art.”