This is Ukraine:
Defending Freedom
This year we are at Venice Biennale with an extraordinary presentation. As Ukraine is now fighting the war against its freedom, followed by the announcement discrediting Ukraine's cultural and historic roots, we are here to prove the opposite.
Art resists,
Ukraine exhists
THIS IS UKRAINE: DEFENDING FREEDOM @ VENICE 2022

A Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Presented by the PinchukArtCentre and Victor Pinchuk Foundation in partnership with the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine


The PinchukArtCentre and Victor Pinchuk Foundation announce a new focus for their official collateral event, This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom at the Scuola Grande della Misericordia in Venice, from the 23rd of April until the 7th of August 2022. The exhibition, presented in partnership with the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, champions the work of contemporary Ukrainian artists whilst also contextualizing Ukrainian history and culture with support from international artists. This replaces The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice 2022.



Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, also offers an image for the exhibition, a personal quote presented across the national flag reading, ‘We are defending our Freedom’.

Visit our exposition
Location: Scuola Grande della Misericordia, Cannaregio 3599/A, Venice, Italy
Opening Period: 23rd of April till 7th of August 2022
Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm every day except Mondays
Preview Days: 20th and 22nd of April, 10 am – 6 pm,
Press preview: Thursday, 21st of April, 5 pm (registration is required),
Opening Reception: Thursday, 21st of April (by invitation only)

Commissioned and promoted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation
Organized by the PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine
Curated by Björn Geldhof
[WITH BJORN"S PHOTO!] This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom is a joint force project between the PinchukArtCentre, the office of the President of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Culture. We conceptualised, prepared and installed the exhibition in less than four weeks, an impossible project for impossible times.

But doing the impossible is what Ukraine does on a daily basis. And for this reason, the exhibition is both necessary and urgent. Ukraine has a strong artistic voice, one that goes beyond direct war narratives but speaks, in the mids of it all critically, of life and survival, of love letters and dreams. We need this voice to be heard, we need to listen to it and rally around it.”
Björn Geldhof, Curator of This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom and Artistic Director of the PinchukArtCentre
We are very grateful to our partners M9 and TBA21 for facilitating and supporting the loans of cultural heritage treasures from Ukraine in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
Ukrainian culture is self confident and has little to prove
The two chapters of exhibition
Presented Works
Across two chapters, the exhibition reasserts Ukraine’s cultural resilience that has always defined itself, even in the most challenging times, through its ability to think and create critically. Artists refuse direct war narratives and instead reflect deeply on their meaning, origin, and impact. This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom is about strength, it is about making, it is about friendship. But most of all, it is about our collective freedoms—the freedom to choose, the freedom to speak, and the freedom to exist.
The first chapter brings monumental and emotional works from three artists who continue to live and work in Ukraine during Russia’s war in Ukraine. The newly created pieces from Yevgenia Belorusets (1980), Nikita Kadan (1982), and Lesia Khomenko (1980) use the poetics of object evidence and the voice of witness to reflect on the realities of the war they bear witness to. The artworks are shown in dialogue with Ukrainian historical masterpieces, including works from Maria Prymachenko (Ukraine, 1909), Tetyana Yablonska (Ukraine, 1917), and an icon believed to be from artist Stefan Medytsky (Ukraine, 17th century).
The second chapter presents Ukrainian artists alongside international artist friends, they overview a deep connection to the country whilst forming a common front against the war. Their works respond to the urgent need for the global community to rally around Ukraine. These include Marina Abramović (Serbia, 1946), Olafur Eliasson (Denmark, 1967), JR (France, 1983), Damien Hirst (UK, 1965), Boris Mikhailov (Ukraine, 1938), and Takashi Murakami (Japan, 1962). The works on show are, on one hand, in direct response to the war, for example, Damien Hirst made new work for the exhibition, and the work by Murakami’s War and Peace (2015) was created directly in support of Ukraine after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and occupation of parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. On the other hand, works are chosen together with the artists as personal statements deeply rooted in the urgency to respond. For example, in the work of Marina Abramović, Count on Us (2003), Abramovic says: “Personally, for me, it is very difficult to make an immediate response in a situation of war. I need time to process, and I am always interested in creating something that is not just about the war at that moment but is transcendental and that has a message which can be used for wars anywhere at any time. I presented my installation Count on Us in 2003, and it was related to the Balkan War. Today, truth and freedom are under attack by Russia, and we all must stand up against it because this is a crime against the whole humanity.”
exposition to commemorate
Mothers
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 Ukraine has suffered a significant human loss. We dedicated the wall in our exposition to honor Mothers, or simply put Moms, of the soldiers, who gave their lives for freedom.

300 portraits of mothers who lost a son in the Russo-Ukrainian War on the Donetsk and Luhansk fronts in the period from 2014-2015. These photographs are a reminder of when the war started, and a tribute to young soldiers who died defending their land.
Each portrait is signed with the name of the mother and her son, along with his age and a pet name she used to call him as a child.
Russian propaganda has actively sought to demonize the Ukrainian military, calling them “Nazis” because they came to the defense of their own land.
As the events of 2022 have shown, Russian propaganda has successfully dehumanized
Ukrainians in the eyes of the Russian people –soldiers and civilians alike – paving the way for the ongoing invasion. Visual aids are often used to help audiences of informative and persuasive speeches understand the topic being presented. Visual aids can play a large role in how the audience understands and takes in information that is presented.
We've got the support of the leading thinkers worldwide
Ukraine Debate
What is Ukraine? Where does Ukraine come from and how deep go the roots of its history? What makes Ukraine a typical European country? How has Ukraine's relationship with Russia been defined historically and until today? What does de-communisation mean for Ukraine and how is this process emphasized through the current war?
Serhii Plokhy
About Serhiy

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters

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Thomas Weihe
About Thomas.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters

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Тут буде стаття 1

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Тут буде стаття 2

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Другий варік Ukraine Debate
Можна поросити дизайнера зробити тематичні картинки до статей, поверх яких буде аватарка автора, його імя і т.п. Заціни на опублікованій сторінці, як відкриваються статті з цього блоку.
Ukrainians fight not only for their own freedom, they fight for the European values.
Opening Reception
Here we need to describe the event of the opening. Who was present, who gave a speech, who sang a song, what kind of crowd came together?
Press enquiries:
PinchukArtCentre

Nadya Vatulyova [email protected]
Tel: +38 044 494-1148
pinchukartcentre.org