National Art and Cultural Museum Complex “Mystetskyi Arsenal”, which is the initiator and organizer of the Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art ARSENALE announces the cancellation of the project in 2015.
The team of Mystetskyi Arsenal has made the decision to cancel the Second Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art ARSENALE 2015. Due to the fact that the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine does not stop, and the economic and political situation in our country only becomes more and more complicated, the implementation of the art project of such scale as Biennale is absolutely impossible.
In the situation of continuous miliary aggression Mystetskyi Arsenal as a state institution can not take the international responsibilities concerning the insurance and transportation of art works and and can not guarantee the safety of the participants of the Biennale. In the times when our society faces serious force majeure and directs all possible efforts to overcome the tragic consequences of this situation, it is not appropriate for us to proceed with organizing the multi-million dollar project.
Therefore Mystetskyi Arsenal is forced to stop the collaboration with curators Georg Schöllhammer and Hedwig Saxenhuber and expresses sincere gratitude for their cooperation and dedication to the project.
The cancellation comes a month after the signing of the Minsk ceasefire, brokered by Germany and France, which has nonetheless failed to de-escalate violence. “We were hoping that the military confrontation would end,” Nataliia Zabolotna, the general director of Mystetskyi Arsenal and founder and commissioner of the biennale, told the New York Times. In February 2014, the museum originally postponed the Biennale to 2015, because of the protests then rocking the capital.
Organized by Austrian curators Georg Schöllhammer and Hedwig Saxenhuber, this show was to be the city’s second biennale. In 2012, David Elliott, the founder of Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, curated the inaugural edition, shedding international light on a number of Ukrainian artists.
Image Courtesy Mystetskyi Arsenal.