IV Odessa Biennale of Contemporary Art


To look for a person in a crowd is rather a cynical occupation. Besides, it’s dog’s work indeed, and not only because of its laboriousness.
Sometimes we are tempted by the demon of egalitarianism, and we forget that equality is good only in the face of Law. Still, there is a season for everything.
The personality cult is a basic value of European civilization; nowhere else is this maxim articulated so clearly as in art. Even in the masterpieces of the patriarchal epoch, where the personal is primarily sinful and opposed to the universal, names can be seen through the thick layer of centuries and millennia. Even the thesis of “the author’s death” proclaiming a triumph of the impersonalizing post-modernism is a provocatively author’s one.
But where there is a personality, an author, there is hierarchy: better – worse, higher – lower. It is not to be shunned: this personality hierarchy has essentially nothing to do with social status, financial account, level of capitalization.
One can be a dog, live in a cracked pythos and be a genius. This does not exclude a possibility of a genius living in a palace, though, because a genius is a spirit by origin.
World War II annihilated not only millions of people. In the second half of the 20-th century self-restriction became mandatory and correct. Responsible self-censorship would veto a large-scale project: unsafe!
In the personal hierarchy accordingly small scale was established as a priority value and acquired an academic character.
The 21-th century required large scale once again. The globalization of being creates a demand for heroes, geniuses and meta-narratives. So far, the supply is lagging behind.

We invite our participants to venture artistic manifestos. The curators’ choice will give priority to works that declare the basic principles of a possible paradigmal (in the author’s opinion) art trend of contemporaneity. The works may be accomplished in any media, but they should be accompanied with a verbal representation of these principles in a manifesto form. It is allowed to use the texts of the manifestos or their fragments directly in the works.

Natural cataclysms are sometimes accompanied with a phenomenon called “mutation fan”. The slow-moving time selects from a fan of digressions those that match the best the basically new condition, and form a new paradigm. In human society these processes occur a lot faster, up to the actual necessity of a simultaneous coexistence of different paradigms.
Any social transformations are fruitless unless they are inspired by personalities. For the constant majority personalities often appear as mutants. Moreover, due to their uniqueness personalities often appear monsters to other personalities. The dead end of pattern-making mimicking democracy has only one way out – a permanent and general tolerance vaccination.
We must always learn to be tolerant for everything but intolerance.
Odessa is genetically a house of tolerance in a world of orthodoxy. That is the course its history has taken, and the genius loci still favours mutations. The myth of Odessa is made of oxymorons: pragmatism and spirit of adventure, heroism and humour, capital and province.

The Odessa Biennale of Contemporary Art invites to take part in the “Manifesto” project – the main event of the Biennale which is to take place from 26August to 30September 2015.

The Odessa Biennale is organized by the Museum of Odessa Modern Art.
The project presentation will take place in the venues of Odessa museums and galleries, as well as in alternative spaces.
The program includes conferences, round tables, panel discussions and an educational program.
The curators of the main Odessa Biennale - 2015 project are Miroslav Kulchitsky and Mikhail Rashkovetsky.