Curatorial Group of the Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art:
Ianina Prudenko, Anton Lapov, Yulia Kuznietsova, Larion Lozovoy
3-22 October 2017
“The Method” was first exhibited this spring in Kyiv as a stage of the Curatorial Lab that provided a discussional and exhibition area for several curatorial collectives whose projects followed each other and lead to coherent creative dialogue.
The collection of the Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art (OAUMA) includes net.art created in the 2000s in Berlin and Rotterdam by Ukrainian group of artists called akuvido (Hanna Kuts and Victor Dovhalyuk). The complexity of its archiving is related to the complexity of its material representation (as well as all net.art genre). Moreover, the website http://www.akuvido.de/ featuring the artists’ works can disappear at any time without support: the creative engine of the group, Hanna Kuts has been dead for 10 years, and Victor Dovhalyuk lives in Berlin and hardly comes into contact. The video works created by the group “Taran” (such was the title of the group featuring Kuts and Dovhalyuk in the period of their creativity in Lviv) in the 1990s are equally difficult to archive. They were digitized by the Centre for Urban History of East Central Europe from the VHS tapes of the Lviv artist and actual co-author of the video group “Taran”, Alfred Maksymenko. The project in the genre of generative art “360 B’U” (1998) was given to OAUMA by a co-curator of InfoMediaBank (programmes for media artists in Kyiv Soros Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA) in the late 1990s – early 2000s) Natalia Manzhali, who was engaged in creating this work.
Having not too many initial data available, we started our curatorial research, which sometimes resembled a detective story. During the working meeting of the Curatorial Laboratory, fellow curator Yuriy Kruchak told about his student days at Kharkiv State Art School, where he met Hanna Kuts in 1989. Appealing for more information about akuvido to Alfred Maksymenko, whose studio was attended by Hanna Kuts when she studied at Lviv National Academy of Arts in the early 1990s, we’ve realized that the group “Taran” is not only Kuts and Dovhalyuk, but the master of Hanna – Maksymenko too.
The narrative of the exhibition “The Method” isn’t built upon artworks by Hanna Kuts and Victor Dovhalyuk but constructed as the timeline of different educational methods that had impact on their artistic formation. His experiments with new media and revolutionary for the Academy teaching method heavily influenced not only the young artists from the group “Taran” but also Europen net.artists akuvido they became later. Kharkiv State Art School in the late 1980s. Maksymenko’s Innovative teaching studio and his involvement in “Taran” activities in the early-mid 1990s in Lviv National Academy of Arts. First digital media experiments of Kuts and Dovhalyuk at the Info Media Bank educational lab in SCCA-Kyiv and L4 Institut fuer Neue Medien in Berlin that resulted in akuvido creating net.art projects, their sole artworks available for exhibitioning without permission according to Creative Commons.
The curatorial collective of OAUMA would like to thank Vera Ganzha, Yuriy Kruchak, Alfred Maksymenko, Anastasiia Nechyporenko, Bohdan Shumylovych for their help in preparing the project.