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Exhibitions

The Forbidden Image
28 June 2019 - 5 January 2020

The PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine) presents “The Forbidden Image”, a two-chapter project in the framework of the PinchukArtCentre’s Research Platform. The first chapter presents a solo exhibition by Boris Mikhailov, while the second entitled “Crossing Lines” is dedicated to the Kharkiv School of Photography and the continuation of its attitude and thinking with emerging artists.

Both exhibitions draw upon three major themes that challenge the notion of The Forbidden Image: an image that lies beyond the boundaries (The nude, The performative), a “life-drunk” image of society (New humanism), and an intimate image that “flutters at night” (Personal romantics). 

The exhibition by Boris Mikhailov is a homecoming show offering a view on his oeuvre, from photography to conceptual art and performativity. Mikhailov’s work moves along the edges of political and social norms and tests the limits of what the project addresses as “The Forbidden Image”. This title stresses the personal engagement and risks implied by the early practice of Mikhailov and his keen sense of critical thinking through the image itself, allowing an expanded understanding of reality. The exhibition underscores his position as a leader and a thinker.

The exhibition premieres two new films by David Teboul, who followed Boris Mikhailov, collecting 40 hours of video material. “Tea, Coffee, Cappuccino” (13 minutes) addresses the question of the documentary’s essential place in the artist’s work. “I was here” (1.55 hours) is a portrait of the artist, wherein he describes the emotions his photographs arouse in him. It reveals Mikhailov’s taste for incompletion, irony, and his liking for play. The films engage with the works of Mikhailov throughout the exhibition.

The second chapter “Crossing lines” presents a curated view on the Kharkiv School of Photography, enabling an understanding of both context and time. Starting in the late ‘70s in a city of engineers a band of young photographers got together and called themselves “Vremja” (time). The exhibition explores these artists, who looked at the world that was crumbling around them, discovering a space for experiment in terms of content, technique and form. The exhibition concentrates on a precise selection of artists from the first and second generations of the Kharkiv School following the curatorial idea of the Forbidden image

Participating artists: Andrey Avdeenko, Sergey Bratkov, Victor & Sergey Kochetov, Pavlo Makov, Oleg Malyovany, Yevgeniy Pavlov, Misha Pedan, Roman Pyatkovka, Juri Rupin, Sergey Solonsky, Oleksandr Suprun and Alina Kleytman, Sasha Kurmaz, Sergey Melnitchenko, Mykola Ridnyi.

This exhibition demonstrates consistent interest and significant investment of PinchukArtCentre’s Research Platform in the Kharkiv School of Photography, both as a historical phenomenon and as a school that continues to produce amazing artists. “Crossing lines” is a show wherein for the first time the PinchukArtCentre brings together a select group of artists it will continue to research and from whom it expects to see more detailed solo exhibitions in the years to come.

Curators – Björn Geldhof, Artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre; Martin Kiefer, in charge of Contemporary Art at the Musée du Louvre, Paris; Alicia Knock, curator, Contemporary and Research Department, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

A special thanks goes out to Suzanne Tarasiève for supporting the realization of the Boris Mikhailov exhibition.