ISLAND by Ivan Melnychuk and Oleksandr Burlaka


Visual Culture Research Center presents ISLAND, an exhibition by Ivan Melnychuk and Oleksandr Burlaka and invites us to the opening on 10 July, 7 pm, at Petrivska 30/34, Kyiv.

Fictitious architect, convinced modernist, once a skilled head of one of the units of the Soviet State Designing institute, after the years of inactivity is working on a project of private hacienda that occupies Trukhanov Island – green recreational territory in the centre of Kyiv. Context is neglected, disordered scrap of land that waits for somebody who can afford to turn it into a gem.

This is a real utopia. It is possible here and now. Perturbed unenlightened public reminds a passer-by that looks inside the hospital window and gives advice to the operating surgeon. And your personal opinion is an error which does not affect the result, trifle that can be disregarded to make this fragile utopia true in our rude, chaotic world.

The exhibition is part of Visual Culture Research Center’s Unrendered Spaces project.

Ivan Melnychuk
was born 1982 in Lutsk, Ukraine, currently lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine. Architect, artist, member of Melnychuk-Burlaka group, Grupa predmetiv group, Art Workers’ Self-defense Initiative. He specializes in documenting and studying of urban transformations.

Oleksandr Burlaka was born 1982 in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he currently lives and works. He graduated from Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture in 2005 as a Master of architecture. Architect and artist; member of Grupa predmetiv group, Melnychuk-Burlaka group, interdisciplinary curatorial association Hudrada.

Ivan Melnychuk and Oleksandr Burlaka’s practice is a critical reflection on how the architectural heritage and the urban context in the post-Soviet space are transformed in, and sometimes erased from, our collective memory. Trained as architects they question and study the role, ideology and responsibility of architects today.

Unrendered Spaces is an ongoing exhibition project, which includes a series of expositions dedicated to the strategies of perception of environment inside and outside the city, the possibilities of its exploration by the means of art. Concentrated on the points of perceptive conflict, multiple interpretations of the living space, the project aims at playing out the political, social, aesthetic zones of tension by redefining it.

Visual Culture Research Center is a platform for collaboration of artists, activists and academics founded in Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 2008. Since its inception VCRC had organized over 150 debates, conferences and research seminars, nearly 20 exhibitions and a series of street protest actions.