Ukraine returns to the Architecture Biennale with Before the Future: two installations that are messages of hope for the future and testimony to the determination of the Ukrainian people

“In telling stories, we have the opportunity to understand each other and therefore to share different visions of a changing future.

Over four hundred days of war have shown us that stories cannot be told without defense. (…) Today the Ukrainian resistance offers, with its intrinsic complications, new and different concepts of the future, whose forms are drawn by the daily actions of all those involved.

This vision is based on the cooperation between self-organization, personal contribution and state-building. This future, worth fighting for, is open to today's sincere cooperation.”

So Iryna Miroshnykova, Oleksii Petrov, Borys Filonenko, curators of the Ukraine Pavilion introduce Before the Future, created thanks to the support of the Venice Biennale.

Read also: Architecture Biennale 2023: information, calendar and updates

Two installations

Before the Future is a response to this year's theme: “Because the future cannot be imagined without Ukraine”.

It declines between the Padiglione all'Arsenale (Sale d'Armi) and an installation at the Spazio Esedra dei Giardini. The first presents a claustrophobic space, without light outlets, as a symbol of abandoned places that can become vital for planning survival plans and hope for the future.

The open-air installation at the Spazio Esedra dei Giardini is based on a network of 10th-century fortifications in the largely forgotten Kiev region.

Reactivated during the first days of the Russian invasion, it slowed down their advance towards the capital. At various times throughout the Biennale Architettura 2023, these spaces will host a public program of meetings, where representatives of the Ukrainian cultural community will share their stories and experiences with the world.

The Curatorial Team

Iryna Miroshnykova and Oleksii Petrov are owners of the ФОРМА architectural studio based in Kiev; Borys Filonenko is an independent curator, art critic, lecturer and managing editor of IST Publishing.

Together they were also part of the team of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale last year with Fountain of Exhaustion.

Pavilion of Ukraine, Biennale 2023, in brief

• Title: Before the Future 
• Commissioner: Mariana Oleskiv, State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine
• Curatorial team: Iryna Miroshnykova, Oleksii Petrov, Borys Filonenko
• Deputy curator, program coordinator: Kateryna Ulianova
• Deputy curator: Maria Lanko
• Architects/Researchers: Kyrylo Khivrich, Elisaveta Perel, Eugene Pichkur, Iryna Shershakova
• Landscape architect: Hanna Popenko
• Visual identity: Fedoriv marketing - innovations
• Layout designer: Ostap Yashchuk
• Producer: Ilona Shneider
• PR and communications management: Ksenia Iefremova
• Facilitators: Insha Osvita
• General editor: Clemens Poole