Voices from the Ukrainian Art Scene

Talks by Milena Khomchenko & Clemens Poole and Kateryna Aliinyk

Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

July 13, from 6 pm, Galéria mesta Bratislavy / courtyard of Mirbach Palace

Moderation: Laco Oravec
DJ: Karaoke Tundra

Event co-organised by and Galéria mesta Bratislavy.
Event is free and it will be held in english.

The aim of this event is to introduce to the Slovak art scene Ukrainian cultural workers and artists Milena Khomchenko & Clemens Poole and Kateryna Aliinyk, who are taking part in the residency project jointly launched by and Galéria mesta Bratislavy. We’ll have the opportunity to gain insight into the most urgent issues related to Ukrainian contemporary art and its art scene, and learn about how artists and cultural workers are coping with the enormous burden of the war, supporting each other and arousing international solidarity.

After the presentations and the Q & A session moderated by Laco Oravec, a special musical set produced by Karaoke Tundra will follow. Everyone is welcome!

.................................. and GMB: art residencies for Ukraine

Since the beginning of the War we have expressed our solidarity with Ukraine and the people who have had to endure everything at home or flee from their country. In order to become more practically involved, and benefiting from a special budget for acute and medium-term aid for the people of Ukraine provided by ERSTE Foundation as well as being inspired by many projects for Ukrainian refugees organized by tranzit network in different countries, we decided to establish a residency project for artists, curators, and cultural workers from Ukraine.

In partnership with Galéria mesta Bratislavy we aim to provide a safe space to stay and an opportunity to calm down, rest, and spend time in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Since we understand that it is not easy to work or do research in such difficult times, we have chosen a more regenerative and supportive form of residency which doesn't require any specific output. Nevertheless, we will offer the residents assistance for their ongoing projects and in discovering the Slovak art scene.

We are grateful to the residents for sharing their experiences with us through their presentations and discussion. We hope that this meeting as well as the residency itself will be mutually beneficial for building professional networks, sharing knowledge and ideas as well as laying the groundwork for future collaborations.

Milena Khomchenko & Clemens Poole are cultural workers who have been collaborating since 2020. They fled together from Ukraine and are currently working on SONIAKH, a new media platform which collects writing about the ongoing Russian - Ukrainian war and its wider context. Milena is an independent art researcher and writer from Kyiv. Her texts have been published in Spike Art Magazine, Danarti, KORYDOR, ArtsLooker, Blok, Your Art, and others. She is the co-author and archivist of the book MUHi 2009-2021 (Osnovy Publishing, 2022). She has worked closely with various Ukrainian cultural institutions including Method Fund, Mystetskyi Arsenal, and Shcherbenko Art Centre. Clemens is an American artist who has been living in Kiev since 2014. He has been active in Ukraine, working both with the IZOLYATSIA Foundation and independently. His recent projects in Ukraine include the following exhibitions: ( ) (2020) and Casual Colonizations (2021), The Desperate Tone is an Act (2020), Entangled Transposition (2022), and Closed Futures (2022), and residencies at Khata Maysternya Art Space (2020), Morhytsya Land Art symposium (2020 & 2021), and Sorry No Rooms Available (2020).

“After the outbreak of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, we could not proceed with our previous jobs, and became involved in various activist initiatives. During the first month, Clemens was actively engaged in humanitarian aid initiatives between Ukraine and Poland while Milena remained in Ukraine and continued to write about the war. More recently, our main activities have been focused on preparing the SONIAKH digest, an online publication amplifying voices from Ukraine and its allies in response to Russia's war, and its worldwide propaganda machine. In our presentation we will discuss the direction of this work, as well the challenges faced by those working in the cultural sphere during the current situation and the broader cultural discourse that we have tried to address by structuring our work. In addition to speaking about our collaborative work on SONIAKH we will briefly talk about our individual ongoing practices, including Milena’s writing and Clemens radio project Sounds from Ukraine NOW hosted by Radio WORM in Rotterdam.”

Kateryna Aliinyk, is an artist born in 1998 in Luhansk, Ukraine but she has been living and working in Kiev since 2016. She has a master’s degree in painting (NAFAA) and graduated from the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts (KAMA) and Method Fund. Her main mediums are painting and text. Currently she works with themes of war and the occupation of Donbas through images of nature and a non-anthropocentric perspective. She has taken part in the following exhibitions: “If there is no war today, it doesn't mean there is no war” (2022) “Our apartments, houses, cottages, garages, offices and yards” (2022), ”Working room” (2022), “State of emergence” (2022), “You are welcome!” (2021), “Sabina Gallery” КАМА (2020).

“I started a painting series about war and occupied Donbas 3 months before Russia`s full-scale invasion. The first week I lived in a real bomb shelter a few floors below my studio. In the second week I joined a residency for internally displaced artists in the Western part of Ukraine and stayed there for 3 months. I continued working on the war theme there, but my agenda has changed somehow. During the talk I'd like to speak about my ongoing practice and how it changed from my first and second war experiences, the role of plants and soil in it and the approach to processing events that works best for me.”

The residency project is initiated and supported by the ERSTE Foundation}, Vienna.

ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit.

Kateryna Aliinyk