Kharkiv photography:
past and present

During the first day, the phenomenon of Kharkiv School of Photography, its leading personalities will be presented in the light of art, cultural, philosophical research of leading theorists from all over the world, including the new Kharkiv School. This school, which emerged in the context of cultivating reflection on photography, was founded back in the 1970s within a “Vremya” (the Time) group. The presentations will show the expansion inherent to the Kharkiv School of Photography, which extends over time and space.
A certain circle of authors, formed in Kharkiv or in line with its aesthetics, live and work in different parts of the world. In their presentations, the speakers will provide their concepts of the extraordinary phenomenon, including views on its territorial and chronological framework.

Starts at 11 AM

Languages – Ukrainian, Russian, English

Moderator – Tetiana Pavlova
Tetiana Pavlova

“To the history of Kharkiv School of Photography”

Nadiia Bernard-Kovalchuk

“Oleg Malyovany's star in the turbidity of late Soviet aesthetics”

Oleksandra Osadcha

“Searching for photography-as-art: theoretical views of Jury Rupin in the official photographic discourse of the late Soviet period”

Bella Logachova

“Actionism in the photography of the Kharkiv school and new art media of the 2000s: gallery-laboratory “SOSka””

Adam Mazur

“Penis and Friends. Looking Closer at Kharkiv School Male Genitalia Obsession”

Helen Petrovsky

“Photogeny of Revolution”

Tomasz Szerszeń

“Mutilated Images of History (Boris Mikhailov, Evgeniy Pavlov)”

Kateryna Iakovlenko and Halyna Hleba

“The place of travesty: was there a queer in Kharkiv photography?”

Vitaliia Shchelkanova

“The discourse of corporeality in the photography of Igor Chekachkov”

Tatiana Kochubinska

“Heroic in vulnerability. Kharkiv photography of the late 1980s – early 2000s”

Presentation of the monograph by Tetiana Pavlova “Ukrainian avant-garde: Kharkiv”

The book, which began with the discovery of the phenomenon of the Kharkiv School of Photography, reconstructs the history of the artistic avant-garde of Kharkiv as a strong center of traditional and new art media, which at the time came to the forefront of the city's artistic life, creating its unique subculture.

Strats at 7 PM

Language – Russian



“Between West and East: connections of Ukrainian photographers”

Second day presents writings on the topic of intersections of Kharkiv art photographers with their colleagues from abroad, mutual inspirations and impact among each other. Formal and informal connections with curators, galleries and festivals from different parts of Europe. Presentations partially cover the interwar period; time of international acceptance of photography as art in 1960s-1970s and appearance of amateur photo clubs, that served as a platform for art photographers; and early 1990s with establishment of contemporary and commercial photography in former Soviet Union countries.

Starts at 11 AM

Languages – English

Moderator – Valentyn Odnoviun
Fedora Parkmann

“The Entangled Reception of Ukrainian and Soviet Photography in Interwar Czechoslovakia”

Valentyn Odnoviun

“Baltic and Ukrainian Art Photographers: Social Intersections and Visual Inspirations”

Agnė Narušytė

”The Unfinished Business of the Unfinished Dissertation: Boris Mikhailov and the “Aesthetics of Boredom” in Lithuania”

Uladzimir Parfianok

“Minsk and Kharkiv photography of the 1980s and 1990s: virtual meetings, crossovers, mutual influences”

Camilo Racana

“A critical approach to the photograph by Yevgeniy Pavlov presented at the ICR in Paris within the framework of the exhibition ‘Un Homme chapitre IV, La Mer Noire, november 2018. Curated by Camilo Racana”

Christian Kortegaard Madsen

“More Less. Sergei Sviatchenko Deconstructing Photography”

Faye Dowling

“New Illusions: Deconstruction of the Image in Contemporary Art Photography”

“The last years of USSR: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Moscow”, conversation with Alexei Shulgin and Viktor Marushchenko.

Starts at 7 PM

Language – Russian

Moderator – Max Gorbatskyi



Modern processes of institutionalization of Kharkiv School

“The museum of photography” project.
In conversation:
Sergiy Lebedinskiy and
Viktoria Bavykina

Starts at 12 AM

Language – Russian

Presentation of the monograph by Nadiia Bernar-Kovalchuk “Kharkiv School of Photography:
a game against the apparatus”

Based on the research conducted within the art program of the Sorbonne University, Paris, the book covers the multiple sources and experimental nature of the photographic art of the representatives of one of brightest phenomena of Ukrainian contemporary art. In the Soviet underground, under the ruins of the empire or on the Kyiv barricades, Kharkiv photography has been characterized by irony, a critical view of the medium and collective action for more than half a century.

Starts at 2 PM

Language – Ukrainian

Round table with Kharkiv School photographers

Starts at 4 PM

Language – Russian

Moderator – Oleksandr Liapin



History of moving images. New media in Ukrainian contemporary art

A passion for new media in Ukrainian contemporary art appears at the same time as its birth in Ukraine – the early 1990s. Despite this fact, the almost 30-year history of Ukrainian media art still remains half anecdotal, half forgotten. This round table, conducted within the framework of the Kharkiv Forum of Photography, is dedicated to the history of this artistic phenomenon, and subsequently represents one of the first attempts to gather researchers and witnesses of the development of Ukrainian media art development from different generations and from different regions of Ukraine.

The discussion will cover the features of the media art development in the last three decades in Kharkiv and Luhansk (Anton Lapov), Poltava (Anton Usanov), Kyiv (Oleksandr Soloviov, Natalia Manzhali, Nadiya Prygodich, Kateryna Iakovlenko), Kherson (Max Afanasyev), Odesa (Mykhailo Rashkovetskyi), Lviv (Bohdan Shumylovych), and Ivano-Frankivsk (Anatol Zwizhynskyy).

The round table with participation of researchers from various regions of Ukraine will be an opportunity to raise questions that have been awaiting responses for a long time:

What distinguishes Ukrainian media art as an artistic phenomenon in general and in specific regions?

Can we talk about Ukrainian media art as a holistic phenomenon?

Is Ukrainian media art a self-sufficient phenomenon or just an epigone of Western and Eastern foreign influences?

How strongly did Western institutions (such as Soros's CAC) influence the formation of Ukrainian media art and what role did they play in this formation?

What interregional ties existed in the history of Ukrainian media art?

What explains the marginal status of Ukrainian media art and when will specialized art, research, and educational institutions devoted to its preservation and proliferation appear?

Starts at 11 AM

Languages – Ukrainian, Russian

Moderator of the panel discussion – Yanina Prudenko