no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resign from venice biennale

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resign from venice biennale

‘politically and emotionally unbearable’

 

ever since the russian federation pavilion at the venice giardini, designed by the architect alexey schusev, opened its doors to the public in 1914, it has been home to russian art and culture at the venice biennale, forging the russian character in the visual language to international and local visitors. for the 59th international art exhibition, curator raimundas malašauskas would spawn the platform for russian artists alexandra sukhareva and kirill savchenkov in the pavilion. on the 28th of february 2022, the three of them resigned from participating in the venice art biennale 2022 as the russian federation’s invasion and bombing continue to harm, damage, and unnecessarily destroy ukraine.

 

the participants publicly posted their resignations online. for malašauskas, he could not move forward with the curation in light of russia’s military invasion and bombing in ukraine. ‘this war is politically and emotionally unbearable. I was born and formed in lithuania when it was part of the soviet union. I have lived through the soviet union’s dissolution in 1989 and have witnessed and enjoyed my country’s development ever since. the idea of going back to or forward with living under a russian or any other empire is simply intolerable,’ he writes.

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
image by francesco galli (all other images by marco cappelletti)

 

 

opposing the current subjugation

 

before signing off, malašauskas shared that his conversations with sukhareva and savchenkov, as they all developed the biennale project, inspired him to see both the past and the future in new ways as the world experiences the present. ‘I explicitly oppose the current assault and subjugation commanded by russia. I also believe that people from russia should not be bullied or cast away solely due to their country’s oppressive policies and actions. it is not easy to live among warmongers, least of all so for those who explore ways of being outside of normative structures.’ the curator sends out his admiration and gratitude to the two artists. 

 

in a short note, savchenkov posted his resignation from the project. ‘there is nothing left to say. there is no place for art when civilians are dying under the fire of missiles, when citizens of ukraine are hiding in shelters, when russian protesters are getting silenced. as a russian, I will not be representing my work at the russian pavilion at venice biennale.

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
the front view of the pavilion

 

 

condemning violence

 

the biennale fully supports the decisions of the artists and curator. ‘la biennale expresses its complete solidarity for this noble act of courage and stands beside the motivations that have led to this decision, which dramatically epitomizes the tragedy that has beset the entire population of ukraine. la biennale remains a place where peoples meet in art and culture, and condemns all those who use violence to prevent dialogue and peace.

 

on february 24, russia inhumanely attacked and invaded ukraine, causing destruction across the country and a spike in death tolls and refugee crisis. such a violent move does not – and will never – reflect the russian pavilion’s founding statement and design that ‘draws on care and inclusivity as a model in order to establish more empathetic and meaningful connections between built and digital environments, people. and ecosystems.

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
outside view of the pavilion

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
the artists and curator condemn the violence of russia

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
inside the pavilion

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
no art will be displayed in the russian pavilion this year

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
inside the russian pavilion

no to invasion: artists and curator of the russian pavilion resigns from venice biennale
the invasion is politically and emotionally unbearable

 

biennale-russia-designboom-banner

the artists and curator resigns from venice biennale 2022

 

project info:

 

name: venice biennale 2022

project: russian federation pavilion

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