Open Letter from the Art Workers’ Self-defense Initiative to the Ukrainian and International Art Community

Art is dangerous – it frees the mind – that’s why autocrats fear it!



We are calling for a boycott of Mystetskyi Arsenal and all of its affiliate organizations in response to the situation surrounding the exhibition “Great and Grand,” which became part of the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus (July 26-28, 2013).

By organizing this exhibition, Mystetskyi Arsenal revealed itself to be an ideologized, pro-regime institution, as well as an instrument for imitating cultural processes. Such activity does not correspond to the challenges of today’s world and thus does not create space for contemporary art.

The recent events involving the censorship of Volodymyr Kuznetsov’s work “Koliivshchyna: Judgment Day” and the exclusion of Vasyl Tsagolov’s painting “Molotov Cocktail” from the exhibition revealed the curatorial ineptitude of those who work for the institution Mystetskyi Arsenal.

By proclaiming the exhibition “Great and Grand” a “project of self-awareness and true lesson in national pride in Ukrainian culture,” Mystetskyi Arsenal…

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