As you could read from my formal post, I live as foreigner(Dutchman) in Ukraine.
A country I love, find beautiful and I like the people.
But, ofcourse nothing can be perfect in this world and recently, I came across a problem,
that actually counts in a lot of cases on international level.
I approached Ukrainian galleries, to make as older artist a re-start to exhibit my work.
I approached international and very small art galleries and from all I did get the answer,
they cannot help me to give their exhibition space, simply because I am not Ukrainian, too old,
not the right profile or not famous enough as foreign artist.
After researching on international level, I did notice, that these standards are not only held up in Ukraine,
but in general on international level in art institutes, art funding and art contests.
Unfortunate, for Ukraine, I find it is not good publicity, to follow in the same footsteps.
They are on the way to integrate with Europe and the West, but the impression this climate gives,
is that Ukraine only wants a one-sided integration or only an exchange, if it is fully beneficial for themselves.
So a real integration process, that goes both ways on all levels, is not (yet) existing,
making chances limited not only for foreign residents in Ukraine, but also for Ukrainian artists,
falling out of these standards.
I understand the way of working, since the Ukrainian government does set the tone, since most galleries, need some kind of government funding to keep existing in a turmoil economic climate as exist in the Ukraine.
But it does not mean, I agree about it and to be honest, I am sure so do a lot of other people.
Ofcourse, Ukraine just follows the international standards.
No matter if you approach galleries on international level, request for funding, try to enter an art contest as being an artist,
the standard age is 25-35 years. Younger and older artists fall out of the boat.
Also a lot of these institutes only focus on national talent, not international talent or if international talent, preferable with already a more solid record.
Reason for this, is that the art world as complete is a sector, that never learned to stand on its own legs and become independent and still is 100% depending on the financial sector.
No matter if it is through funding, through government channels, patronage…
Since the financial sector fund the money, they decide on higher and lower level the standards, as it is the most profitable for them.
The financial sector goes out from the idea, that an artist or performer under the age of 25 is too reckless and too much a risk, to invest in and after the age of 35 is too old to be productive enough,
to get investment out. Because in the end, the buyers of art, buy the art mostly nowadays as investment.
Something they later can cash in on. So the age of artists became standarized to the age of 25-35, preferable a national product or if not, someone, who assures the profit in the pocket for the financial world.
This is ofcourse a trend of the latest century, since before the standarizing of art and their makers, anyone could become an artist and had an equal chance to break through.
A lot of famous artists from the past, did start at later age and broke through also much later.
And the financial world makes the mistake to be short-sighted, because a lot of big talent, outside this standard is going lost.
Anyway, left with a problem, I would not be me, if I would not go to look for a solution.
So I approached my artist friend Rudolf Muskee in the Netherlands and discussed the problem.
We came to the idea, if the art cannot come to the galleries, we bring the gallery to the artist.
A version of Mohammed not able to go to the mountain, so the mountain comes to Mohammed.
So today, we launched the idea, to go with a travelling gallery the world round and with a variety of package of artists/performers,
to exhibit around the world and bring attention to this problem and bring attention to another problem as well.
Since we want to take both Ukrainian and Russian artists with us, we want to show the world,
that however the political and social climate, we are all humans and can work towards a better world.
I spoke today to several institutes about funding possibilities, because I asked them advice about this project.
The preparation time for this project will not be fast, but I believe on steady pace, with the possibilities existing nowadays,
we should be able to raise enough money, so our budget is complete and we can go on the road.
Idea is to start in Kiev and than passby the following cities:
St.Petersburg-Berlin-Prague-Milano-Oporto-Amsterdam-Antwerp-London-New York-Los Angeles and finish the tour in Denpasar.
We arrange our own exhibition space for 1 week, with each time an opening with performances and the exhibition itself, to bring attention to our cause.
After the one week, we brake up and travel to the next destination.
If succesfull, who knows, we will repeat it the next year after, with another group of artists/ performers and different locations.
In the end, every problem has a solution. You must just be willing to tackle it.
For participation and more information, you can take contact at: email@example.com
More info: Instagram