[artinfo] Ukraine in Venice - an open letter

Adele Eisenstein adele@c3.hu
Mon, 26 Mar 2001 17:38:26 +0200

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An Open Letter

To: His Excellency Mykola Zhulynsky
Vice-Premier for the Humanities

The Honourable Bohdan Stupka
Minister, Ministry of Culture and Arts

We wish to protest the manner in which the issue of Ukraine's
participation at the 49th Venice Biennale, set to open in June, has been
dealt with by your government.

In September, 2000 the Ministry of Culture and Arts officially accepted
the invitation to Ukraine to participate in the Biennale and designated
Mr Evhen Kuras as the commissioner, who then appointed Mr Yuri (Jerzy)
Onuch, Director of the Center of Contemporary Art in Kyiv as curator. In
December, The Masoch Fund were chosen by the curator as the artists for
the presentation.

We have learned that, on March 20 the Cabinet of Ministers issued a
directive, communicated to the Venice Biennale organizers by the Vice
Premier, designating another person as commissioner and another curator.
Neither Mr Karas, Mr Onuch nor The Masoch Fund have been informed of
this maneuver.

We support the participation of Ukraine at the Biennale under the
leadership of Mr Karas, Mr Onuch and The Masoch Fund, as originally
announced. We deplore the attempt of the government bureaucracy to
manipulate choice based on artistic merit and to impose control by
decree. We are dismayed at the bad image this is creating for
independent Ukraine at its first Venice presentation.

Name, Title, Institution, Country

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