July 3, 2016 - IZOLYATSIA - Social Contract
July 3, 2016


Image: Dima Sergeev, IZOLYATSIA.

Social Contract
June 30–August 24, 2016

8 Naberezhno-Luhova
Hours: Monday–Sunday 12–8pm

T +380 50 477 2620

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IZOLYATSIA presents Social Contract, a project consisting of an exhibition featuring works by 11 artists from ten countries, a public programme, and a temporary art intervention Inhabiting Shadows by Cynthia Gutierrez at the former site of the Lenin monument in Kiev. 

Social Contract is aimed at creating a discussion platform for the art community, society and authorities on the status and functions of commemorative objects in public space, using the case of the Lenin statue in Kiev as an example. The destruction of the statue of Lenin in Kiev in December 2013 triggered the symbolic "Leninfall" around the country, calling into action a controversial set of laws on Decommunisation to a broad polemic in Ukrainian society.   

The so-called commemorative objects have been erected for centuries in public spaces designed to remind society and future generations of the heroes, outstanding achievements and victories of the past. The sculptors would use long-lasting materials such as stone, marble or bronze to emphasise the perennial nature of the given historical character or event. Nowadays, however, the public spaces depart from monumentalism, while the general tendency for digitalisation changes the function of memory. The way people store and transmit memories is changing rapidly, substituting marble with more ephemeral and functional forms of memory.   

The exhibition that will be on view at IZOLYATSIA showcases various examples of rethinking, instrumentalising and manipulating commemorative objects that shape our perception of collective history. The featured works deal with controversial monuments within different discourses—post-Soviet (Krassimir Terziev, Arseny Zhilyaev) and post-Cold War (Kristina Benjocki, Pilar Mata Dupont)—stimulating viewers to re-evaluate their own experiences.        

The public programme, which forms an integral part of the project, will include performances, workshops, lectures and public discussions about the temporary installation and the role of commemorative objects in public space, involving local communities, activists and representatives of the municipal government. A detailed programme of the events will be announced at IZOLYATSIA’s official website

Emphasising the necessity of an open selection procedure, IZOLYATSIA announced an open call for projects of artistic intervention at the former site of the Lenin monument in Kiev. IZOLYATSIA have received 21 applications from artists and art collectives around the globe. The international jury chose the installation by the Mexican artist Cynthia Gutierrez titled Inhabiting Shadows. The installation intends to provoke a discussion and reflection about imposed memory, system failure, emptiness, identity and occupying space. The temporary installation may help answer the question whether building a new monument on Lenin’s place is necessary, or the site should remain vacant.    

The opening of Cynthia Gutierrez’s temporary artistic intervention Inhabiting Shadows is scheduled for July 9, the project will last for one week. 

Curator: Kateryna Filyuk

Participating artists: Kristina Benjocki, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Pilar Mata Dupont, Cynthia Gutierrez, Arturo Hernández Alcázar, Christian Jankowski, Zhanna Kadyrova, Guy Königstein, Pilar Quinteros, Krassimir Terziev, Arseny Zhilyaev

Additional location:
Taras Shevchenko Boulevard (former site of the Lenin monument).
July 9–16, 2016


IZOLYATSIA is a cultural platform founded in Donetsk in 2010 and relocated to Kiev in June 2014 after the military occupation of its premises. IZOLYATSIA has three intertwined directions of activity: art, education and projects geared at activating Ukraine’s creative sector. Since 2010, IZOLYATSIA has carried out over 30 international projects, including ZMINA, a series of educational and creative initiatives in Eastern Ukraine; the international residency programme Architecture Ukraine (Mariupol-Kyiv); the exhibition Culture and Conflict: IZOLYATSIA in Exile, at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), DOX (Prague) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Berlin); the #onvacation project at the 56th Venice Biennale; and the project Letters to the Mayor, in collaboration with Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York). In 2016 IZOLYATSIA is participating in the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale with the project Architecture Ukraine—Beyond the Front.

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