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Sailing Through Storms: Art's Response to Crisis



Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge
In collaboration with

The Ukrainian Institute, the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, with the support of Museums for Ukraine

On Wednesday, April 17, Ocean Space hosts an event part of the public program of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 60. Venice Biennale.

The public program is organized by the Ukranian Institute in collaboration with the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 60. International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, TBA21, Ocean Space and OPERA APERTA - workshop for contemporary opera, and with the support of the Museums for Ukraine initiative.


  • 11 - 12am | Sailing Through Storms: Art's Response to Crisis

Discussion with Lia Dostlieva (artist, cultural anthropologist, essayist), Andrii Dostliev (visual artist, curator, photography researcher, anthropological illustrator), Viktoria Bavykina, Max Gorbatskyi (curators of the Ukrainian pavilion), Vid Simoniti (philosopher, art historian and lecturer at the University of Liverpool), moderated by Tetyana Filevska (Creative Director, Ukrainian Institute).

This discussion explores the role of art amidst various crises, focusing on Ukraine’s wartime experiences, ecological disasters, migration, and more. Delve into how artists respond creatively to tumultuous times, shaping narratives, fostering resilience, and provoking reflection on societal challenges.

  • 12:10-12:30pm | Follow the plants. Performance by Alevtina Kakhidze

Driven by her great interest in the relationship between plants and humans, Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze invites audiences to the Follow the Plants performance. In an introductory lecture, she provides an insight into her research on stable plant systems such as steppes and prairies. In this context, she investigates the influence of ‘invasive’ and ‘tender’ plants on ecosystems and the role of humans therein from an artistic-philosophical perspective. Practical training during which the participants can explore the local ecosystems follows the lecture.

Mousse Magazine & Publishing will be present with a pop-up bookstore as Ocean Space's Media Partner.


Tetyana Filevska is a Creative Director at the Ukrainian Institute. She is an art manager, curator, writer and researcher of Ukrainian art of the 20th century. She has been working in the sphere of culture for over 20 years. Her portfolio includes festivals, conferences, exhibitions, educational courses, books and films. Worked in various art institutions, particularly the EIDOS Arts Development Foundation, Contemporary Art Center, IZOLYATSIA. Platform for cultural initiatives, Mystetskyi Arsenal. Co-founder of the NGO Malevich Institute.

Andrii Dostliev is an artist, curator, and photography researcher. His primary areas of interest are collective trauma, the history of queerness in Ukraine, decolonial practices in Eastern Europe, and the limits of photography as a medium. His art practice encompasses photography, video, performance, and installation. Dostliev has published several photobooks. He exhibited his works at the Odesa National Art Museum (Odesa, Ukraine), Ludwig Museum (Budapest, Hungary), National Gallery of Art (Vilnius, Lithuania), Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), and others.

Lia Dostlieva is an artist, cultural anthropologist and essayist. Her art and research practice engage with the issues of collective trauma, decolonial stories seen through multispecies entanglements, and agency and visibility of vulnerable groups. Dostlieva exhibited her works at the Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Kolumba Museum (Cologne, Germany), Ludwig Museum (Budapest, Hungary), National Gallery of Art (Vilnius, Lithuania), Tbilisi Photography and Multimedia Museum (Tbilisi, Sakartvelo), National Museum of Fine Arts (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), Latvian National Museum of Art (Riga, Latvia), and others.

Viktoria Bavykina is a curator, art critic, and sociologist of culture. She works with photography, political art, and feminist optics in artistic practices. Co-curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 60th Biennale Arte in Venice. Co-founder of the Ukrainian. Photographies, a platform that collects visual and textual research on Ukrainian photography. She was a curator of the Grynyov Art Collection and art director of the AKT art space in Kyiv, Ukraine. She co-curated the exhibitions Open Opportunity at M17 Contemporary Art Centre (2021, Kyiv), Volyazlovsky and All His Creative Life at YermilovCentre (2021, Kharkiv), Instant Time at Mystetskyi Arsenal (2018, Kyiv). She was a curator of the Kharkiv Photo Forum - an international conference on photography. In 2020, Bavykina defended her PhD in sociology of culture at V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. She is currently a student at the University of Liverpool, pursuing an MA in Art, Philosophy, and Cultural Institutions under the UK Government's Chevening scholarship programme.

Max Gorbatskyi is a curator at Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool, UK). Together with Viktoria Bavykina, he has been named curator of the Ukrainian Pavillion at the 60th Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2024. Previously, Gorbatskyi was a curator at the Department of Contemporary Art at the Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv, Ukraine), where he led the photography direction and, among other projects, co-curated a large-scale photography exhibition 'Sensitivity. Contemporary Ukrainian Photography'. Gorbatskyi's long-time focus has been on contemporary photography and private photo archives. Together with Bavykina, he founded Ukrainian.Photographies – a platform aimed at facilitating international research of Ukrainian photography. In 2023, they curated the HOME programme, partnering Open Eye Gallery as a parallel programme of Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool, UK. Gorbatskyi is a recipient of the UK government's Chevening Scholarship. He holds an MA in History of Photography at Birkbeck College, University of London, and an MA in Cultural Management at the University of Bologna.

Vid Simoniti is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Art at the University of Liverpool. His academic work focuses on how art can bring about social and political change. Simoniti’s book, Artists Remake the World, is out with Yale University Press in 2023. Before joining the department at Liverpool in 2018, he was the inaugural Jeffrey Rubinoff Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College, the University of Cambridge. Simoniti obtained his doctorate (D.Phil.) from the University of Oxford in 2015. In 2021, he has been selected as a BBC New Generation Thinker.

Alevtyna Kakhidze (b. 1973, Zhdanivka) is an artist who predominantly works with performance and drawing. Based in the Muzychi village 26 kilometres from Kyiv and having grown up in the Donetsk region, Kakhidze has experienced Ukraine’s abrupt and chaotic changes from the days of the USSR to the imbalanced environment after, including the undeclared war between Russia and Ukraine going on since 2014 and the full-scale invasion that started on the 24th of February 2022. Kakhidze is now interested in plants. To her, they are still a role model for us to follow — she views plants as one of the best of pacifism on our planet. Her beliefs against the production of weapons – and its fundamental impact on society – are central to her practice. She is currently researching the possibilities of breaking this chain of producing weapons in general while taking into account the existence, and need, for defensive/liberation wars as she is witnessing in her home country.