Black Cloud — Kyiv Biennial 2019 will present a series of art projects and educational events focusing on the political and social role of modern technology. The main locations of the Biennial will be KPI Library and the House of Cinema.
Black Cloud, the third Kyiv Biennial of contemporary art, knowledge and politics organized by the Visual Culture Research Center, will take place on October 11 — November 23, 2019. The goal of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 is to reflect on social and political transformations in Eastern Europe over the past three decades, influenced by the Chernobyl catastrophe, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the development of information and communications technology.
The Biennial’s program will incorporate an exhibition presenting the works of artists from Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain, India, Canada and other countries, as well as a public program featuring international researchers, scholars and activists. The exhibition will take place in KPI Library — a unique architectural masterpiece of the Soviet modernism which will become one of the locations of this year’s Kyiv Biennial. The events of the public program will also be held in the House of Cinema.
The Black Cloud exhibition will unite artists working with the topics of mass communication, artificial intelligence, environment and the Chernobyl catastrophe. In particular, it will feature a well-known installation “The Glass Room” by Tactical Tech collective, illustrating the mechanisms of personal data collection and the problem of privacy on the internet. A number of works will explore the liaisons between technology, politics and environment. For example, Susan Schuppli’s installation “Delay Decay” shows cover pages of the Pravda newspaper published in the 20-day gap between the Chernobyl nuclear accident and its public disclosure by the government, drawing parallels between radioactive threat and media manipulations. Other works question the anthropocentric perspective and address non-human life forms, such as Emilio Vavarella’s film composed of video fragments shot by animals.
The public program of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 will include around 15 lectures, presentations and panel discussions. For instance, international symposium “Communicative Militarism” focused on the phenomenon of cyberwar will take place on October 17–18, followed by a discussion on October 26–27 with Ukrainian experts and activists on how data is generated, used and protected online. A part of the public program called “Middle East Europe” will address contemporary historical conditions and ideological divisions in the countries of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that have become the battlefield for new authoritarianism and right-wing populism. It will consist of a series of lectures by the renowned philosophers, historians and political scientists, such as Geneviève Fraisse, Philipp Ther, Jan-Werner Müller, Sandro Mezzadra, Claus Offe, among others.
In 2019, Kyiv Biennial became part of the newly established East Europe Biennial Alliance, which also includes Biennale Matter of Art in Prague, Biennale Warszawa and OFF-Biennale Budapest.