• some text


August 24 – September 24, 2023


Ukrainian Institute of America

2 East 79th Street, New York, NY, 10075   




2006 – 2023 
With the support of the Consulate General of Ukraine in New York and the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations the multimedia group show FRAGMENTED EVIDENCE will present the artworks of 17 contemporary Ukrainian artists on August 24, 2023 at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City dedicated to the celebration of the 32nd year of Ukraine’s Independence and its continuing brave struggle for Freedom and Liberty.
BIRUCHIY is the largest and longest-running international contemporary art residency located on the same name peninsula of Azov Sea in Ukraine that was founded in 2006 and for 18 years of its existence has united more than 300 authors and 14 art groups from 19 countries worldwide: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Russia, Great Britain, USA, the Republic of Belarus, Australia, Canada, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kazakhstan. After the full-scale invasion the residency’s team continued its operation in the West of Ukraine, then moved to Poland and Germany, presented several shows of Ukrainian artists in Europe and now debuted in the United States.  
FRAGMENTED EVIDENCE presents paintings, sculptures, prints, video and photo documentation that are a part of the BIRUCHIY art collection. 
The artworks shown at the FRAGMENTED EVIDENCE have miraculously "survived" at the beginning of war in times of Bucha’s occupation in Kyiv oblast. Being stored in a warehouse that fortuitously did not burn down, the BIRUCHIY archive was in contact with Russian soldiers. Some other artworks of the collection were vandalized, burned, broken or stolen. This story as well as the narration about the destroyed home of the project curator Olena Speranska and founder of BIRUCHIY Gennadiy Kozub are shown in the documentary by film director Ivan Sautkin (Babylon13). 
The digital collages by professor Sergei Sviatchenko who lives and works in Denmark were created as a reflection to the first photos that were taken at the apartment after de-occupation in April 2022. A photo-project of Vera Blansh shows in detail how the artists were helping to clear debris and fragments from live ammunition and missiles, the fragments of destroyed life.  
Paintings were created during the art residency’s program BIRUCHIY at the coast of Azov Sea after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of Donbass war in 2014 until 2021 – at the last pre-war residency in Prymorsk. Located in the Southern part of Ukraine, these territories have been under occupation of the Russian troops since February 2022.  
“Blick” by Artem Volokitin presents the author’s study of the light properties at the shining rays of pure light on a black background. It was created during the “Run on Water” residency in 2017 when the artists worked with the unbelievable statuses of different kinds of activities, knowledges and values. 
The light itself framed with ribbon gives hope for the victory and on the same time works as the light of fight and danger framed as a “gift” of “russian peace”.
Diptych “Mirskonca” (The World in Reverse) by Andriy Stegura was created in 2019 during “Exodus. Biruchiy. Montenegro” residency program, it sends the viewer to the beginning of the XX century, at a time when futurists declared the arrival of a “new human” who will throw tradition as it is into the trashbin of history.
Created in 2021 in Prymorsk during the “Time that is not lost” art residency the “Future time concept” by Tetiana Malinovska represent time flying process in the bright colors and flowing shapes. The series “Azov Sea. Ukraine” by Volodymyr Budnikov presents gloomy seascapes which are rare for the abstract painter that show the premonition of the general anxiety.
Alise Nikitinová works with the objects of ex-Soviet Union symbols like the “Fire bucket” (2015) that was used by pioneers at the old kids camps during those times. It became one of the nostalgia symbols for the soviet past. Now these buckets used to put out fires from Russian missiles. The “Wiring” (2015) is a minimal light color painting that shows schematically the electricity wires made long time ago that now are among the main “goals” of Russians trying to destruct Ukraine’s infrastructure.
Vlada Ralko is represented by the series “Showpieces” (2021). Working with a theme of time the author demonstrates ex-Soviet Union symbols combined with the pieces of human and animal bodies showing the path of achieving “big goals” through war and the destruction of bodies themselves or by violence caused by these symbols. Anastasiya Budnikova in her “Acts of completed work” (2021) also works ironically with home appliances placing them into the unexpected situations as a saucepan at the end of the escalator showing the futility of the end goal pursued by the propaganda.
Albina Yaloza believes that “rain control” at her “Controlled Element“ created in 2018 during “Neoshamanism. Ritual Power” residency can become an issue of total human control over nature, which could lead to demolishing confrontation. Artist states that rain in monochrome landscape (or “post-landscape”) becomes clearly defined as something geometrically structured and contrasts with the endless nature of sky and sea.
The artworks by Natalia Karpinska “Biruchiy beach” (2016) and Kateryna Buchatska “Anuphrius” (2015) send the viewer to a peaceful, wide sea beach and remind them of the area and people who are currently under occupation.
Presented photo documentation include both site-specific installations on the coast of Azov Sea and the day-to-day art residencies life, exhibitions, artist-talks, lectures, art projects in Ukraine, Italy, Poland and Montenegro showing the path through the peaceful to the wartime in 2006-2023. 
Evidence of demolition is supported by the documentary photos of Oleksandr Glyadelov and Maxim Dondyuk who were among the first photographers’ group allowed to enter de-occupied territories of Ukraine fixing the truth, war crimes, facts of violence and destruction. 
Sautkin’s video "Kadyrova’s Palianytsia" shows the work of famous Ukrainian artist and permanent BIRUCHIY resident Zhanna Kadyrova on the project "Palianytsia" (means bread, typically a large round wheat bread, baked in an oven) made of river stones found in Transcarpathia in March 2022. This conceptual charity art project helps to defend Ukraine’s lands as all the funds raised from sales are forward to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The artworks presented in the exposition are from the sculptural installation by Kadyrova that were already shown during the 59th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in Italy by Galleria Continua, in solo and group shows in Germany, Brazil, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, France and USA.
The exposition includes artworks of contemporary Ukrainian artist and curator Lesia Khomenko created in 2022-2023 courtesy of the Fridman Gallery, New York. The author works deeply with the study of the state of war by means of figurative and abstract painting expressing her own experience of being a wife of the sound artist and BIRUCHIY resident Max Robotov who changed his career to become a soldier in the Ukrainian army. 
‘’More than an exhibition, this art project demonstrates both my personal story and a collective artists’ experience in peaceful, fruitful Ukraine and in times of this tragic historical moment of war. – comments Olena Speranska, project curator, art books compiler, vice-president of the NGO “Contemporary Art Researchers Union”, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine and Director of the non-profit NGO “Ukrainian Contemporary Art Platform Inc.”, New York, USA. – It is a fragmented representation of the long story of our art residency development in Ukraine and its transformation after full-scale invasion. 
Participated by the worldwide artists BIRUCHIY was called “the island of freedom” where the well-known artists were sharing their experience with the younger generation. Experimented sound laboratory, DJ sets, music festivals, open artists’ studios, modern gallery, daily artists talks’, new collaborations, open airs and site-specific installations – all this was joined by a spirit of freedom and unique warm atmosphere of Azov Sea and Azov-Syvash National Park, where now, the russian troops are destroying infrastructure, causing ecocide, mine the fields and coastal areas…
The lives of all Ukrainians have been changed fundamentally. There are no one Ukrainian who didn’t lose someone at war, no one who didn’t felt it, and, unfortunately the war continues daily taking hundreds of lives, causing genocide of Ukrainians and trying to destroy and rewrite our history and culture. That’s why it is critically important to talk about war and our rich and modern Ukrainian culture, to show the difference between the peaceful life and the life in war, to fix war crimes. As we don’t want the culture of destruction – we want our Liberty, Freedom and Independent development’’. 
Participants: Vera Blansh (Kyiv), Volodymyr Budnikov (Kyiv), Anastasiya Budnikova (Kyiv), Kateryna Buchatska (Kyiv), Maxim Dondyuk (Lviv), Oleksandr Glyadelov (Kyiv), Zhanna Kadyrova (Kyiv), Natalia Karpinska (Kyiv), Lesia Khomenko (Kyiv), Tetiana Malinovska (Kharkiv), Alise Nikitinová (Prague, Czech Republic), Vlada Ralko (Kyiv), Ivan Sautkin (Kyiv), Andriy Stegura (Uzhorod), Sergei Sviatchenko (Viborg, Denmark), Artem Volokitin (Kharkiv), Albina Yaloza (Kyiv).

Olena Speranska