PEN America Partners with Ukraine National Pavilion for Venice Biennale
Ukrainian Art Thrives at Venice Biennale, Showing the Power of Art in Times of War
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(NEW YORK) – PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) proudly announces its collaboration with the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition opens to the public on April 20 and runs until November 24.
“ARC and PEN America are pleased to support the vital work of the six Ukrainian artists featured in the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Biennale offers a unique opportunity for visitors to witness the remarkable resilience and unity of Ukrainian artists at a time when Ukrainian culture is under attack,” said Julie Trébault, Director of ARC.
“The Russian government’s targeted and ruthless assault on Ukraine’s artists, writers, and cultural institutions is a key tactic in their effort to annex Ukraine by falsely claiming it does not have its own culture or history. Yet Russia underestimates the power of art and artists to persevere even in the darkest moments. The Ukrainian cultural community possesses an inspiring synergy that defies Putin’s merciless cultural erasure campaign, ensuring the vitality of a culture that is resoundingly ‘Ukrainian.’ Ukrainian art is alive because of the vibrant artistic community and it will continue to fortify the human spirit, foster unity, and embody unyielding resilience.”
The theme of the 2024 Art Biennale, Stranieri Ovunque — Foreigners Everywhere, addresses the universal question of “otherness” and “the coexistence of diversity.” As expressed in its press release, “The Ukrainian Pavilion will present personal experiences of war, emigration, and assimilation in new societies and the transformation of language under the pressure of violence.”
The Ukrainian Pavilion is curated by Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi, who will host the groundbreaking project “Net Making,” which weaves together the work of Ukrainian photo and video artists Daniil Revkovskyi, Andrii Dostliev, Lia Dostlieva, and Andrii Rachynskyi, multimedia artist Katya Buchatska, and pavilion architect Oleksandr Burlaka.
In response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ARC has supported over 450 Ukrainian visual artists through its Emergency and Resilience grants, with the generous support of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation. PEN America’s 2022 report, Ukrainian Culture Under Attack, is an overview of the systematic erasure of Ukrainian culture by the Russian government since 2014.
About the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC)
PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) is a program dedicated to assisting imperiled artists and fortifying the field of organizations that support them. Since its inception in 2017, ARC’s mission has been to safeguard the fundamental right to artistic freedom of expression worldwide to ensure that artists and cultural workers can live and create without fear, regardless of their country or discipline. Contact ARC if you or someone you know is an artist at risk.
About PEN America
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more, visit PEN.org.