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Venice Biennale Adds Ukraine Solidarity Show Days Before Opening

The Venice Biennale has announced an open-air exhibition for Ukrainian artists, in support of the country, merely days before the formal opening.

The Piazza Ucraina, the said exhibition, will be curated by the curators of the existing Ukrainian Pavillion at the event. In addition, it will be supervised by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Ukraine Emergency Art Fund. The exhibition will be hosted at Giardini, which is the venue of many national pavilions (including that of the USA). The space for the exhibition has been created by architect-artist Dana Kosmia. The list of artists who would be featured in the exhibition has not yet been announced. But the announcement itself came at the last moment, less than a week before the opening of the Venice Biennale, one of the biggest art events in the world.

The curators have described the artworks to be exhibited as “constantly changing”. In a detailed statement, the curators of the event said: “Becoming a subject of the public realm, these works turn into something bigger. They become an evidence, an artifact, a document of the state of mind. Perhaps, these works have already gained a status of the most sincere and certainly undeniable documentation of the experience: the one of trauma, of anger and, yet, of sheer courage, too.“

But the Venice Biennale was not alone in supporting Ukraine this week. Just a day before, the PinchukArtCentre, a Kyiv-based art space founded by Victor Pinchuk, cancelled the plans to hold an exhibition of artists nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize. It will be replaced by “This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom” – an exhibition that would feature works of prominent artists like Damien Hirst. Historical Ukrainian artworks will also be on display, including works of folk artist, Maria Priymachenko, whose works were destroyed in a Russian attack recently.