Presented by viennacontemporary and ERSTE Foundation





STATEMENT UKRAINE forms this year’s content focus of viennacontemporary and is composed of several parts: a special exhibition, a panel discussion and a NFT drop.

On 24 February 2022, the reality of life for people in Ukraine, Europe, and the rest of the world suddenly changed with the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. Among the millions of people who fled are numerous artistic and creative professionals. With STATEMENT UKRAINE, viennacontemporary in cooperation with ERSTE Foundation supports artists in and from Ukraine, and promotes the visibility of Ukrainian culture abroad.

STATEMENT UKRAINE has been initiated by Boris Ondreička, artistic director of viennacontemporary, and Yana Barinova. Until the war started in February 2022, Yana Barinova was the Kyiv City Councillor for Culture, now she works as Development Officer at viennacontemporary and project manager European Policies and Ukraine at ERSTE Foundation.
STATEMENT UKRAINE forms this year’s content focus of viennacontemporary and is composed of several parts. Centerpiece is the exhibition The Cockerel with Black Wings: A Recovered Heirloom, where thirteen Ukrainian and international artists explore the topic of war, curated by Kateryna Filyuk. The exhibition will take place during the days of viennacontemporary in cooperation with and in the rooms of das weisse haus and is open to the public free of charge.

The exhibition opening will be preceded by the high-profile panel discussion Ukrainian Culture on its Path to the EU.

Furthermore, viennacontemporary will launch the NFT drop VC STATEMENT UKRAINE Crypto Art Drop to support the Ukrainian art scene.

The Cockerel with Black Wings: A Recovered Heirloom

Group exhibition in the framework of STATEMENT UKRAINE

Curated by Kateryna Filyuk

The exhibition takes place in cooperation with and in the premises of das weisse haus during the days of viennacontemporary and is open to the public free of charge.

Guy Koenigstein. Eastwards.

The exhibition The Cockerel with Black Wings: A Recovered Heirloom addresses the issue of the lost or potential heirlooms and the various social relations that are rooted in them. It takes the form of a speculative and moving memoir that carries the visitor eastwards, even as it tries to avoid at all costs any melancholic sentiments that might be attached to such a journey.

Lamkist. Photo: Olena Subach

It is not intended as an elegiac sad story of recurring loss. Just as the mass-produced Soviet decorative figurine of a cockerel, discovered perched on top of a kitchen cupboard in a ruined residential house in Borodyanka, is not a symbol of the wreckage. On the contrary, it immediately became a viral symbol of Ukrainian resilience and perseverance, affirming the people’s optimism and moral courage. The cockerel with black wings, although it has no high artistic value, may very well become a new heirloom — a mundane object that holds immense symbolic power for the future generations of Ukrainians. 

The title of the show is prompted by the famous book The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, by ceramics artist Edmund de Waal. Its storyline hinges on the rediscovery of family history through an inherited netsuke collection, taking the author across different geographies, including both Odesa and Vienna.

Metahaven, Hometown, 2018

The thirteen Ukrainian and international artists whose works are featured in the show, similarly embark on physical or mental journeys, in search of heirlooms, old and new, that might give us something to which we can hold.

With Kinder Album (UA), Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan (RO), Vasyl Dmytryk (UA), Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev (UA, PL), Guy Koenigstein (NL), Dmytro Krasnyi (UA), Olexa Mann (UA), Nazar Martynyuk (UA), Metahaven (NL), Yurii Pikul (UA), Clemens Poole (USA/UA), Elena Subach (UA) and Cosimo Veneziano (IT).

Exhibition opening:

Wednesday, 7 September, 2022, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

das weisse haus, Hegelgasse 14, 1010 Vienna

Opening hours:

Thursday, 8 September – Sunday,  11 September, 2022

11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Daily Curators’ Guided Tour from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Kateryna Filyuk is a curator and researcher and currently serves as a curator at Izolyatsia. A Platform for Cultural Initiatives in Kyiv. She is also co-founder of the publishing house “89books” in Palermo. Filyuk is the founder and affiliate of “Festival Ucraina. La Terra di Confine in Palermo” (2022). In 2020-21, she was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Others Art Fair (Turin). Before joining Izolyatsia, she was co-curator of the Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists at Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv (2017). She has participated in several internationally renowned curatorial programs, including the Young Curators Residency Program at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2017); De Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam (2015-2016); International Research Fellowship at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul (2014); and Gwangju Biennial International Curator Course (2012). She was the editor of the catalog and coordinator of the discussion platform for the First International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Kyiv ARSENALE 2012.

Ukrainian Culture on its Path to the EU

Panel Discussion

The opening discussion of STATEMENT UKRAINE, featuring leading Ukrainian, Austrian, and European personalities, invites a local and international audience to participate in a dialogue about the future cultural integration of Ukraine into the European Union.

Wednesday, 7 September, 3:00 – 6:30 pm

Aula der Wissenschaften, Wollzeile 27A, Vienna

In English language

Please register for the panel discussion here.

Opening remarks: Oleksandr Tkachenko, The Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Austria

Panel 1
Integration Reforms needed in Ukraine’s Public Cultural Sector

The aim of the opening session of the panel discussion is to define the main cultural policy guidelines for future relations between European and Ukrainian authorities.

With Halyna Hryhorenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Philippe Kern, Founder of KEA European Affairs, Judith Kohlenberger, Cultural Scientist and Migration Researcher, Francesca Thyssen, Founder and Chair of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), Moderation: Yana Barinova, Development Management at viennacontemporary, project manager European Policy and Ukraine, former Director of the Department of Culture in Kyiv

Panel 2
Art and Creative Industries in Times of War

The focus of the second section of the panel is to be laid on the current contemporary culture sphere and creative industries in Ukraine.

With Kateryna Botanova, Co-curator of CULTURESCAPES festival, Taras Doroniuk, Director of Development at the KSE Institute, Yevheniya Kravchuk, Deputy Chair of the Servant of the People faction, Markus Huber, Managing Director viennacontemporary, Tanya Malyarchuk, Author, Moderation: Nataliya Mykolska, strategic transformation expert, CEO of Dattalion, the Trade Representative of Ukraine – Former Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine


9-11 September 2022

The initiative features artworks by established contemporary Ukrainian artists in collaboration with international crypto artists, presented by Tom Wallmann (Board of Advisors viennacontemporary), Boris Ondreička (Artistic Director viennacontemporary), Yana Barinova (Business Development viennacontemporary), Benoit Couty (Founder Museum of Crypto Arts), Yura Miron (Ukrainian crypto artist) and Olha Stoliarchuk (viennacontemporary). Proceeds from the initial sales will be donated to a charity in Ukraine.

The works, which are specifically created for the Crypto Art Drop, will be published on Objkt, the largest NFT marketplace by the open-source blockchain platform Tezos, on 9 September 2022, where they will be available for purchase during the public days of the fair,  9-11 September 2022.

For more information visit please: VC STATEMENT UKRAINE Crypto Art Drop – viennacontemporary

Cover picture: Logo of viennacontemporary

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.