Poetry and performance. The Eastern European Perspective

Date: November 25, 2021 – February 12, 2022.

Location: Dnipro.


The international exhibition Poetry and Performance. The Eastern European Perspective has opened at the Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture. It features more than 100 works on the intersection of poetry and performance by artists from different countries of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.


The exhibition’s main focus is on a combination of poetry and performance in artistic reflections and research on language in the dimension of political and ideological influence. The works of poets and artists of the second half of the 20th century and contemporary artists refer to the issues of censorship and artificiality of language, its subordination to ideologies and policies, fragility and vulnerability to various socio-cultural transformations — both in the past and today.


Poetry and Performance. The Eastern European Perspective is the result of a study conducted by researchers and curators Sabine Hänsgen and Tomáš Glanc with the support of the University of Zurich and the European Research Council. The exhibition was first shown in Zurich at the end of 2018, then the collection in its various formats traveled to Dresden, Wroclaw, Liberec, and Budapest. 


At the Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture, the permanent part of the exhibition is joined by works of Ukrainian artists. The curators have aimed for a dialogue between past and present therefore the exhibition in Dnipro features well-established examples of Ukrainian poetic performances like ones by Yuri Leiderman, Vlodko Kaufmann, and LuHoSad group as well as younger voices such as Yaroslav Futymskyi, Anita Nemet, Nikolay Karabinovych, Stanislav Turina, Dana Kavelina, Ksenia Hnylytska.


​​The show is composed of various types of coexisting exhibits: text scores, interactive objects, sound and video recordings, films and installations of performance documentation. Together, they present authors from subcultures in socialist states along with contemporary positions that continue the legacy of combining poetry and performance, showing the efforts of poets and artists to break free from controlled language and normative communication.


The exhibition is divided into several parts that represent various formats of poetic performance in Eastern Europe: Writing-Reading Performance, Audio Gestures, Interventions in Public Space, Cinematographic Poetry, Body Poetry, Language Games. 


The exhibition visitors would be able to see the works of the following artists: Mladen Stilinovic, Tomislav Gotovac, Ewa Partum, Katalin Ladik, Yuri Leiderman, Ladislav Novák, Lev Rubinstein, Ľubomír Ďurček, Vaclav Havel, Andrei Monastyrsky, Dmitri Prigov, Vlado Martek, Jiří Valoch, OHO groups and others. The full list of artists is available here


Curators of the exhibition: Sabine Hänsgen and Tomáš Glanc, Yuri Birte Anderson, Kateryna Rusetska. In cooperation with Yaroslav Futymskyi.


The show was created in collaboration with Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture, the Artsvit Gallery, the University of Zurich, the European Research Council, the Department of Humanitarian Policy of the Dnipro City Council, and the Capital of Culture program.

Photos by Oleh Samoilenko.