“Vulnerable State” – the final exhibition of the SWAP: UK/UKRAINE 2018 art residencies in Odesa


“Vulnerable State” – the final exhibition of the SWAP: UK/UKRAINE 2018 art residencies in Odesa

The British Council opens the 2019 exhibition season with a presentation of the works of SWAP: UK/UKRAINE participants. Nine artists and one curator participated in art residencies in Ukraine and Great Britain in 2018. They will show the results of their visual research at the Museum of Odesa Modern Art from February 22 to March 31.

This year, the final exhibition of the project will be held in Odesa, and it is no accident. Odesa is Liverpool’s sister city, home to one of the UK’s largest and most influential contemporary art exhibitions, the Liverpool Biennale. It was under the curatorship of the Biennale team that the residencies for Ukrainian project participants took place in Liverpool. Holding the final exhibition of the SWAP: UK/UKRAINE international project in Odesa aims to activate the role of the city in the international cultural dialogue, stimulating the development of the local cultural landscape and supporting the ideas of decentralization.

The title of the exhibition “Vulnerable State” appeals to the political, emotional and social context reflected in the works of nine artists from Ukraine and Great Britain (Anna Kahiani, Nikolay Karabinovych, Viktoria Myronyuk, Dana Venetsia, Helen Flanagan, Jaimini Patel, Martim Ramos, Ricardo Matlakas, Suzanne Stark).

The curators of the final exhibition — Ilya Zabolotny (British Council) and Lina Romanukha (INSULATION foundation) note:

“After starting the preparations for the final exhibition, we immediately drew attention to the fact that all the participants of the residencies in their works to one degree or another appeal to a state of vulnerability, uncertainty, anxious expectation of change. The amplitude of these experiences covers both individual bodily experiences, emotions, hidden traumas, and global geopolitical challenges: militarization, demarcation, and the crisis of established social paradigms. The exhibition will present a wide range of expressive means chosen by artists in their works: video installations, sound compositions, graphic works, texts, objects, photographs. Some used their own body for artistic reflections, and someone even had to create a model of a tank.”

“Global cross-cultural communication, which is created thanks to art residencies, is an important component of international dialogue. Cooperation between such different countries as Great Britain and Ukraine becomes the basis for extremely interesting reflections and innovations in culture in general and in modern visual art in particular,” commented Semen Kantor, director of the Museum of Odesa Modern Art.

“For the third year in a row, thanks to fruitful cooperation with our partners in Great Britain and Ukraine, we manage to create a unique kaleidoscope of active mutual influences, exchanges and cooperation between the cultural environments of the two countries. In our opinion, artistic research, reflection and demonstration through artistic means of the ability for friendly dialogue and understanding between people are extremely important in our time of active socio-political changes”, – Simon Williams, Director of the British Council in Ukraine.

SWAP: UK/Ukraine is an annual residency program of the British Council in Ukraine for artists and curators. The program is implemented in cooperation with the Liverpool Biennial, the largest contemporary art festival in the United Kingdom, and the most innovative and experimental art institutions in Ukraine. Since the launch of the program in 2016, the program has held 30 residencies (27 for artists and 3 for curators) in Liverpool, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, Muzychy, Uzhgorod and half of the Biryuchy island in the Sea of Azov. SWAP aims to connect artists from both countries and support their development in an international environment. The program also gives artists time to research, reflect and study the artistic traditions of Great Britain and Ukraine.


Partner of the final exhibition of SWAP art residencies: UK/UKRAINE — Odessa Museum of Contemporary Art.

As part of the exhibition, there will be educational events of a parallel program – meetings with artists, artist talks, tours of the exhibition. For more details, see the event’s Facebook page

More about the program and educational program of the exhibition http://www.britishcouncil.org.ua/programmes/arts/visual-arts/swap

Exhibition opening on February 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Museum of Modern Art of Odessa
Odesa, st. Belinsky, 5
Exhibition schedule:
Wed - Sat.: 12:00 - 19:00
Sun.: 12:00 - 18:00
Mon-Tues - the museum is closed

Entrance to the exhibition is free