Currently lives and works in: Kyiv, Ukraine (Warsaw, Poland)
Yulia Kostereva – artist and curator, who graduated from the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture in Kiev, Ukraine in 2001.
My practice concerns both the visual arts and the art of interaction. Since 1999, together with the artist Yurii Kruchak, I launched the interdisciplinary platform Open Place where I have been working until today. It is aimed at expanding creative research and establishing links between the artistic processes and different layers of modern society. Art is understood as a space of intersection between artistic, social and political processes.
I feel devoted to the principles of support and empowerment as opposed to separation and antagonism. I try to exercise these principles in my professional work. Can there be solidarity without opposition, without excluding and antagonizing? I have been elaborating on those questions in my artistic practice. In my work which has recently become closer to participatory practices, I tend to develop a communicative model of interaction and avoid authoritarian communication models.
Areas of interest: Socially engaged art, postartistic practises, co-living (coexistence), interdisciplinary.
Why are you a part of MagiC Carpets: I am sharing the values and approaches of the program. I am glad to collaborate and to learn together with the team of Jam Factory and with other artists-in-residence. I enjoy the fact that the program is flexible and we can shape the program together with the participants.
MagiC Carpets project
Migrations of bodies and words
Open activity within the space of the exhibition “Gotong Royong. Things we do together”.
For five days of the workshop, we shared stories, experiences, poems and reflections on the situation of people of a foreign origin living in Poland. Poetry and linocut constituted our means of communication, collective action and designing a social change.
Each of the meetings left a mark in the form of a poetic phrase which was handed over to the participants of the next meeting in order to be cut. As a result, a poem was created as a record of common experiencing and meetings. At the same time, the linocut became a manifesto of a collective action.
The workshop “Migrations of bodies and words” was initiated by artists Yuriy Kruchak and Yulia Kostereva and realized in collaboration with poets Maja Staśko, Michał Kasprzak and Aneta Kamińska, as well as with the visitors of the exhibition “Gotong Royong. Things we do together”.
Type: Archive and publication
The first stories of Fresh Market were recorded in 2017 in Warsaw. It was a method to immerse ourselves in the issue while working on the topic of labour migrants from Ukraine in Poland. “We were looking for the opportunity to get access to the real people and to hear about the problems they faced from them. Make people’s voices, visible, go beyond impersonal figures and statistics – these were our intentions.
When we collected a certain number of stories, we questioned ourselves what this archive is like? The archive contains intimate stories of different people. Currently, the archive has stories on emigration, violations of labour and human rights, patriarchal control over women, xenophobia, self-identification and identity, and other precarious conditions. Fresh Market is a kind of mélange – a mixing of various narratives and social compounds. In the archive, we bring together different contexts and experiences.
As the creators of the archive, we want Fresh Market to be an environment for collaborative work. We want to trace the story’s destiny after it separates itself from the person or event. Fresh Market is a nomadic archive that is filled in and worked on in the different contexts. We have also launched a publication SOURCE, each issue highlights one of the topics of the Fresh Market archive. The publication SOURCE is a collection of interviews of people and groups who are actively challenging the political status-quo regarding the certain issue, and who have visions of proactive tactics on how to address it.
Meetings of self-reflection group as a part of activity of emergency residencies of Ukrainian artists in Warsaw. The program of emergency residencies was developed in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and aims to support artists seeking refuge from the war. The idea of meetings arose from the need to have a place for a discussion, for pondering and self-reflection in a narrow circle, in a safe environment. The self-reflection group serves those who are interested in joint reading, explanation, and conversation. The group aims to support its members in better understanding of our cultural practices. Meetings of self-reflection groups also perform a therapeutic function, and are also intended for discussion and formulation of answers to topical issues of decolonization and the public presence of art and culture in a difficult time. The reading club format that we proposed at the beginning has transformed into a place of being together and performing various activities – workshops, readings and discussions, debates on proposed topics. We also proposed a rotational model of organizing meetings – it involves a different participant proposing an article for discussion, a topic for debate, or an activity within the framework of the workshop for each meeting.
What inspires you as an artist? People
What do you think is the purpose of art? To formulate the questions, to propose the opportunities
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