Gogolfest celebrates best in modern arts

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Sept. 10, 2009, 6:46 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Alexandra Matoshko

Alexandra Matoshko

Kyiv Post Guide Editor

Gogolfest, Ukraine’s biggest festival of modern art, is taking place for the third time this year. Between Sept. 11 and Sept. 27, the guests at Mystetsky Arsenal state complex will be able to watch at least 20 theater plays and performances, visit eight dance parties, 10 live concerts, more than 15 art projects and literature presentations. The full program is available at, while we’ve just picked out some highlights.

The Sept. 12 multimedia project by Swiss choreographer and video artist Nicole Seiler “Performance Ningyo” (In Japanese “ningyo” means mermaid or doll) features a dancer in a pool on stage.

On Sept. 16, the Spanish theater company Mr. Kubik presents a mime and clown show “M3.” It is a meditation of what life would be like inside one cubic meter of space. “Murder in the Cathedral,” a play by Hungarian director Attilla Vidnyanskyi, is a stage version of a tragedy by T. S. Elliot based on the death of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, murdered by the followers of King Henry II of England in 1170.

The Dutch Punch festival will include a string of original Dutch bands, all playing on the night of Sept. 12. Among them are: Deformer, a Dutch veteran of broken beats; SToMA, playing grindcore; The Moi Non Plus, playing experimental rock and The RaaskalBOMfukkerZ – electro music experimenters. Argentinean deejay Seph, playing minimalist techno, will be the highlight of the “Party of Friends” (Sept. 18) and British deejay Stenchman will play dubstep at the Kievbass brand party (Sept. 19).

The Sept. 14 performance “Keskuteluja” (Dialogues) by a Finnish duet of juggler Ville Walo and magician and video artist Kalle Hakkarainen illustrates the lack of communication between people.

The top event of the Gogolfest musical program is “Moloko Music Fest.” Its headliners are New York singer-songwriter Adam Green, Swedish electropop girls duo Tikkle Me and musician Adanowsky, the son of Alejandro Jodorowsky, a famous Chilean-born film director of Ukrainian-Jewish origin. Also expect gigs from Lyuk, an easy-listening band from Kharkiv, on Sept. 11, Persian band Dzham on Sept. 26, Drug Moi Gruzovik from Dinpropetrovsk and Russian-Armenian band Deti Picasso, both on Sept. 27.

The modern art works to be displayed in the halls of Mystetsky Arsenal come from a number of Kyiv art galleries. EIDOS center of modern art presents “Culture Injection,” paintings of 17 artists of different nationalities. “Saman” project by well-known Ukrainian photographer Ihor Gaidai features nude women flying on witches’ broomsticks. Bottega presents “Singing Heads” by Oleksiy Khoroshko, 12 paintings of big round faces with their mouths open. “Zabor” (Fence) art show from Ya Gallery includes photo, video and art objects all evolving around such a trivial and common object as a fence. “Modern Gogol” exhibition from Antin’s Collections independent art gallery features original portraits of the great writer who gave his name to the festival – Nikolai Gogol. “A State of Mind” is a common project of Swedish and Ukrainian artists focused on the ideas of leadership, democracy, human rights and prejudices.

Mystetsky Arsenal (30 Mazepy, Sept. 11-27. Tickets for Theater Stage – Hr 40; Moloko Music Fest – Hr 120.
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