For the future, let’s wipe the slate clean: IZOLYATSIA in exile
Point Perché has had a special
meeting with IZOLYATSIA, a Cultural Programme Platform from Donetsk,
Ukraine, whose activities and even very existence are threatened by
the war. On 9 June 2014, the IZOLYATSIA cultural foundation was
seized by mercenaries of the “People’s Republic of Donetsk” in
order—or so they proclaim—to “facilitate humanitarian aid”,
coming from Russia. As part of the ALERTES set up by the Palais de
Tokyo to support places dedicated to art, for a day and an evening
light was shed both on the conflict in eastern Ukraine and on the
place of culture in times of war.
this meeting, le Point Perché was used as a platform of exchange,
encounter and discussion, where art and creation lay at the heart of
political challenges. A system with flat screens, and installations
with artists’ interventions and texts helped those present to
become acquainted with the situation by way of documents and reports.
its international dimension, IZOLYATSIA is a non-governmental art
foundation set up by Lubov Mikhailova in 2010 on the site of an old
factory manufacturing insulation systems in Donetsk, in Ukraine.
IZOLYATSIA inherits its name from this factory. The name reflects the
foundation’s brief: to safeguard the industrial heritage while at
the same time establishing alternative programmes of social and
cultural development. IZOLYATSIA is a multi-disciplinary cultural
centre with three types of activity: site-specific projects to
exchange with local communities, educational programmes, and the
development of creative industries. Over the past four decades,
IZOLYATSIA has been behind more than 30 major projects, and lots of
this meeting taking the form of a press conference, the Palais de
Tokyo was keen to give pride of place to Luba Michailova, founder of
IZOLYATSIA, Anya Medvedeva, Director of Communcations, the artists
Elise Florenty and Marcel Turkowski, and the architect Rock
Rowbotham. Because the Donetsk
centre is now occupied, the teams working in it are in exile, where
they are carrying on this struggle in order to perpetuate resistance
to all comers. “Being here is working for the future”, says Luba
Michailova, to explain the current situation.
of the complexity of local and international challenges and stakes,
through its teams IZOLYATSIA is being sorely tested, and remains
eager to preserve the institutional network that has been operating
for several years.
way of artists’ residencies and in
works, IZOLYATSIA represents an important venue for international
artists, and one that is essential in the landscape of contemporary
art and current ways of thinking about the links between art, history
and society. Among the in
works, let us mention pieces by Daniel Buren, Kader Attia and Pascal
This state of crisis is affecting every intellectual and creative arena. So it is important to find a new working framework for the next five or ten years. The meeting highlighted everyone’s determination to believe in a critical system advocating dialogue in order to encourage openmindedness at a local level.
“We hope to return. Being in exile and displaced is something quite different, we are not politicians, but we are concerned by the situation”, emphasizes one of the speakers. Everyday action and the connection with artists make it possible to keep this dialogue alive at the international level, so as to remain in touch with a reality, whatever happens.
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