The Art Newspaper: What the Kyiv biennial aims to do for the Ukraine's artists

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July 18, 2012, 5:11 p.m. | Ukraine abroad — by The Art Newspaper

Arsenale 2012, one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year, kicked off on May 23, pulling together works by global stars such as China’s Ai Weiwei, the U.K.’s Chapman Brothers and modern Ukrainian artists.
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin

What is the point of Kyiv's international biennial? When this latest addition to the bloated international art circuit was announced earlier this year, it felt like an extreme example of "soft power", with the Ukrainian government exploiting its more appealing assets, such as its cultural heritage, to improve its standing in the international community. After all, if you're going to reinvent a place, why not throw in a biennial for good measure?

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