09 August 2019

Kmytiv Museum Art Education Under Threat. Opening of the Exhibit “Reading the Debris”

Ahead of the opening of the exhibit “Reading the Debris,” part two of a modern art program held at Kmytiv Museum, deputies from the parties Svoboda and Samopovych in Zhytomyr Oblast are bringing the museum’s activities under fire, and have threatened the jobs of its workers. According to the curator of the exhibit, Nikita Kadan, the deputies and other representatives plan to visit the opening scheduled for Saturday, August 10 at 15:00, with the aim to interfere with the work of the museum and the creation of a branch of modern art at the museum.  

On August 8, 2019 A representative from the Zhytomyr Oblast Regional Government, Olena Galaguza, initiated the dismissal of the Director of the Kmytiv I.D. Buhanchuk Museum of FineArts and then launched a campaign against the museum on social media. Deputies from the Svoboda and Samopovych parties had accused the Director of overstepping his authority by allegedly attempting to rename the museum. Government representatives at the Zhytomyr Oblast level have not provided any official justification or grounds for dismissal.

The campaign launched by deputies in their effort to dismiss the director and block contemporary art activities, pose a direct threat to the overall normal functioning of the museum and its preservation. This interference into museum work is a violation of Articles 15, 66, 143 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

Kmytiv Museum is a unique cultural institution based in the cultural heritage of the second half of the 20th century. The permanent collection was installed in the village of Kmytiv in the 1970s by enthusiast Joseph Buhanchuk, and is one of only sites in the world that collectively preserves the art of the decline of the Soviet idea of enlightenment. It is also the only museum collection in Ukraine that comprehensively presents the concepts of official art that existed in Soviet Ukraine, revealing both their ideological and dissident features. 

“The activities of MPs and others who are attacking the museum are doing so in order to build their careers at the high cost of the destruction of cultural heritage. At this critical moment we are counting on the support of journalists and the cultural community because, at this point, we are united in the defense of works of art in the fight against barbarism and populism” – Yevgenia Belorusets, Artist and Author featured in the exhibit.

We appeal to the press to support the museum!

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Opening: August 10, 15:00 
Kmytiv Museum of Fine Arts 
42 Lokrovska, Kmytiv, Zhytomyr Oblast

Contacts:  Leo Trotsenko, Organizer: luvluvp@gmail.com. Partners: Ukrainian Cultural Fund; Ukraine Crisis Media Center; Department of Tourism and Culture of the Zhytomyr Region. 

Curator: Nikita Kadan

Artists: Yevgenia Belorusets, Ksenya Hnylytska, Dana Kosmina, Yevgen Nikiforov, Andriy Rachynsky and Daniil Revkovsky, Yurij Pikul, Anna Shcherbina, Andriy Sahaidakovsky