The fourth lecture of Dzestra Talks programme took place on the 31st July at the editorial office of the “Bukovyna” newspaper, as our speaker Kateryna Botanova arrived form Kyiv. She is a well-known curator, the head of the Foundation “Centre of the Modern Art” (CSM) and editor of the “Korydor” platform.
The subject of her lecture was “Culture activists: who they are and what can they do for the city”. Kateryna shared her experience of fulfilling cultural projects in Kyiv, which were dealing with public space, art, activism and engagement. According to Kateryna, ‘engagement art’ is the most effective form of activism, when speaking about cultural management in Ukraine. One of the Chernivtsi artists present at the lecture, Anatol Fedirko commented that for him this is ‘the desacralisation of art’, and Kateryna answered that ‘this is exactly what they try to do’.
There were approximately 50 people present at the lecture — so it was the most popularly attended ones. For the first time amongst our audience there were some officials and a lot of adult workers of cultural institutions.
There’s also ongoing comprehensive photo-documentation on flickr here…
Editorial note: the debate about whether ‘community art’, ‘engaged art’, ‘socially engaged practice’ is ‘real art’ has been a contested arena for a number of decades. There’s a very interesting book called ‘The Re-enchantment of Art’ by Suzi Gablik which addresses this. Written over 20 years ago, she describes her hope for a new art, born out of a new cultural paradigm which embraces both a sense of community (along with an enlarged ecological perspective) as well as mythic and archetypal sources of spiritual life. You’ll find an excerpt here: http://allanmccollum.net/allanmcnyc/Suzi_Gablik.html