Kyiv Perennial: Talking About: Socialist Modernism

Fri, 22.3.24, 4.00–5.30 pm Type: Talk, Guided Tour Languages: English, German Location: nGbK am Alex Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 11/13, 10178 Berlin Admission: free Organizer: neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst

In English with German whisper translation

Talking About: Socialist Modernism
Dealing with a troubled heritage

Talk and guided tour through the exhibition at nGbK am Alex with Yevheniia Moliar, member of the collective De Ne De, and architecture critic Wolfgang Kil

Dealing with the cultural heritage of the Soviet Union is a sensitive topic in post-Soviet countries. Since Russia annexed Crimea and began to occupy parts of Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian authorities have begun to destroy different items in many places that are considered relics of the Soviet era – regardless of whether they are the creations of Ukrainian authors or historical testimonies, perhaps even internationally respected works of art. The basis for this is a law introduced in May 2015 on the „decommunization“ of public spaces. It not only prohibits the display of communist symbols or publicly honoring personalities from the Soviet era, the rejection is also directed against some representative art objects from that era. The declared aim of the state campaign is the „Prohibition of propaganda of Soviet ideology and rebuild the national memory in the countries that once belonged to the Soviet Union“ (Y.M.). 

Works of art and buildings of socialist modernism are undoubtedly part of a worldwide cultural heritage. In Berlin, too, there were heated debates in the 1990s about the demolition of important buildings from the GDR era. Have the heated discussions and losses of that time been forgotten today? Are we still allowed to take part in such debates in Ukraine? An art theorist from Kyiv and an architecture critic from Berlin take a look. 

Yevheniia Moliar is an art historian working on the cultural heritage of the Soviet period, in particular monumental art. She studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv and curated the project SOVIET MOSAICS IN UKRAINE. As a member of the self-organized initiative DE NE DE, she has studied and preserved unrecognized and unobvious cultural heritage in Ukraine. She is a research assistant at the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Monument Conservation and Urban Cultural Heritage at the Technical University Berlin. 

Wolfgang Kil (*1948) is an architecture critic and publicist in Berlin. After studying architecture in Weimar, he was editor of various specialist journals, including Bauwelt. In the 1990s, he dealt with Berlin’s urban development, then worked on demographic change in shrinking cities and, since 2010, increasingly on urban transformations in Eastern Europe.

Education and Outreach Program Kyiv Perennial: Can Mileva Rastovic, Birgit Effinger


Kyiv Perennial

Fri, 23.2. – Sun, 9.6.24 Type: Exhibition, Event series Location: nGbK am Alex (until 1.4.24), station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf, Between Bridges, Prater Galerie

Education and outreach