Ukrainian artists perceived that Russia sees a cultural blacklist

ROME – Art exhibition of the Venice Biennale, where members of the official Russian pavilion have already left in protest against invasion of Ukrainesaid on Wednesday that he was working to ensure that the artist representing Ukraine could show his work.

Pavlo Makau is to represent Ukraine with the “Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta ”at the Biennale, which runs from April 23 to November. 27.

In a statement Wednesday, biennale organizers said they were working to ensure Macau could come to Italy and present his work as planned despite the war in his homeland.

This was the last demonstration of solidarity in the art world with Ukraine and appropriate Russia’s cultural blacklist and people associated with the government, which found a parallel for the most part international sports world.


The Venice Film Festival said it would continue to welcome Russian artists who support freedom of expression and oppose the invasion, but official Russian delegations and Kremlin-linked figures will not be allowed.

“As long as this situation persists, the Biennale refuses any form of cooperation with those who, on the contrary, have committed or supported such a grave act of aggression,” the Biennale said.

Last week, the curator and participants of the official Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale left to protest the war. The festival praised their decision as a “noble act of courage.”

To date, the rise of cultural reaction against Moscow has included the cancellation of Russian Hollywood films and the severance of ties with famous Russian conductor Valery Gergievwho is close to President Vladimir Putin and expressed support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.


On Wednesday, Gergiev’s former manager canceled all of his upcoming concerts in North America, citing a “reluctance to oppose” the Russian invasion. Many classical music companies called on Gergiev to condemn the invasion, but the conductor was publicly silent.

Gergiev, musical director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (Russia) and its White Nights festival, has been fired as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic and the Rotterdam Philharmonic and replaced during the Vienna Philharmonic’s five-concert tour of the United States.

“I had an unusual 30-year professional relationship with Valerie, and it hurts me to see that relationship come to such an end,” his former manager Doug Sheldon said in a statement.

While Gergiev was blacklisted, the National Chamber Ensemble “Kiev Soloists” opens a previously planned tour of Italy.

The prestigious Ukrainian chamber ensemble, which arrived in Italy last week, just as the Russian invasion began, is turning its tour into a fundraiser to support hostilities at home.


Originally scheduled to tour Italian cities until March 6, the ensemble is extending the tour and adding performances after receiving new invitations to appear, members of said.

They have changed their concert programs to remove the work of 19th-century Russian composer Anton Arensky and replace it with the work of Ukrainian composer Maxim Berezovsky, and add a call for peace to every venue.

This week, they performed in the southern city of Bari next to a sign with a big heart depicting the blue and yellow color of the Ukrainian flag and a QR code for donations to Ukrainian troops. The ensemble’s Facebook page also contains information for the transfer of donations through the Ukrainian National Bank.

“It’s very difficult to play, my soul and heart are torn while I’m playing,” said double bassist Igor Patsovsky, who has a wife, daughter and mother in Kiev.

The Kiev ensemble was founded in 1996 and is an important ambassador of the country’s musical culture, performing in prestigious theaters and concert halls in Europe and the United States.


Musicians spend time in Italy – in between performances and rehearsals – tirelessly checking their cell phones for family updates and watching videos of the devastation.

Violinist Ekaterina Mysechka says it is difficult for her to postpone taking care of her family, but the orchestra cannot return home yet.

“I only think about the shootings, the shootings in our cities,” she said. “It’s very difficult to play.”


Anthony McCartney contributed from Los Angeles.

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