ALEXANDER ROYTBURD was born in Odessa in 1961. In 1983 he graduated from art-graphic faculty of the Odessa pedagogical institute. In 1993 he became a co-founder of the association "New Art" (Odessa). Since 1993 he has worked there as art director, from 1999 to 2001 — as president. Worked as a director of the Marat Gelman Gallery in Kiev. Lives and works in Kiev and Odessa. Member of Congress "Ukraine — Russia: Dialogue", held on 24–25 April 2014 in Kiev.
1985 Jarkova Art Gallery, Moscow
1990 Marat Gelman Gallery, Moscow
1991 “Classics and Contemporaries”, Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow
1993 “…in white”, “School” Gallery, Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow
1993 “…ladies…”, Marat Gelman Gallery, Moscow
1993 “Portrait…”, “1.0” Gallery, Moscow
1993 “Reclining Nude”, Center of Contemporary Art, Odessa, Ukraine
1995 Plank-art Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
2001 “Crucified Buddha”, Heritage Museum, Kiev, Ukraine
2013 “Mantra Get Out!”, Maidan, Ukraine
Contemporary art gallery NT-Art, Odessa, Ukraine
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine
МоМА, New York
Duke University Art Museum, Durham, USA
Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Alexander Roytburd’s video art is no less valuable for the history of Ukrainian contemporary art than his paintings. The artist had been working in the new media sphere for 10 years — from 1995 to 2005. During this period his video art became the "face" of the Ukrainian media art in the world. It was exhibited in galleries of Europe and America. And the work "Psychedelic invasion of the Battleship Potemkin in the Sergey Eisenstein's tautological hallucinosis" took part in the main program of the 49th Venice Biennale and was included to the video art collection of MoMA (New York). Alexander Roytburd belongs to the first wave of media artists who turned to the new media in the early 1990s and cooled to this in the middle of 2000s.
As Fluxus in the 1960s in the West adapted new media (a portable video camera) and created a new form of visual art, Ukrainian artists of the Soviet Union collapse period began to experiment with newly available technologies for post-Soviet people.
The work "Psychedelic invasion of the Battleship Potemkin in the Sergei Eisenstein's tautological hallucinosis" (1998) was made by Alexander Roytburd for the exhibition of the contemporary art project "Academy of Cold" (1998) in the Odessa Art Museum. He was also the curator of this project. Alexander had the idea to encounter the contemporary Ukrainian art and the Soviet socialist realism, projecting the video on the monumental canvas by Leonid Muchnik "The rebels carry the body of slain G. Vakulenchuk on the riverside" (1949).
For the "Academy of Cold" Roytburd decided to prepare a looped footage of shooting soldiers on the Potemkin Stairs. But while working with the Eisenstein’s material the artist completely changed his attitude to the classic movie. He realized that it was not just the Soviet silent avant-guard film, but "postmodern salad" (Alexander Roytburd) of Constructivism, Surrealism, Expressionism and even kitsch salon art. The artist decided to double the invasion — not only in the Muchnik’s painting, but in the on-screen image of the great Eisenstein. This action certainly required a fair amount of creative courage. Many colleagues, both Ukrainian and foreign, put Roytburd off to start working with "Potemkin", but fortunately, the artist created his version of the shooting scene by inserting his own video quote and using his own loop for the Eisenstein’s shots. Later this work has become the most famous Ukrainian video art of the 1990s.
At the opening of the "Academy of Cold" there were a lot of prominent figures of the Western art scene, including Barbara London, a curator of MoMA (New York). She had formed the video collection of the museum and acquired the work of Alexander Roytburd for it. It was an unprecedented fact in the history of Ukrainian media art, because it has been acquired neither for native not for foreign art collections either before or for a long time after this case.
Being in the collection of MoMA Roytburd’s work took part in a large museum’s thematic exhibition "Open Ends" (September 2000 – March 2001), dedicated to the research of a wide range of artistic media, arising from the 1960s to the 2000s. On the video art exhibition the project by Ukrainian artist was presented next to the works by Nam June Paik and Marina Abramović. During the "Academy of Cold" exhibition Roytburd’s work has been also marked by Slovenian curators who invited the artist with "Potemkin..." at the exhibition "2000 +" (Ljubljana, 1998). There was a well-known curator Harold Zeeman. He watched the video and selected it for the main program of the 49th Venice Biennale (2001).
Curator of the Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art
The independent research project Open Archive of Ukrainian media art presented the central event of its program — a unique Skype lecture based on the archive's content. It was founded in 2008 as first and only archive of Ukrainian new media art and has collected more than 1000 artworks of such genres as video art, video installation, cybernetic sculpture, ascii art, glitch art, net.art created by Ukrainian artists from the early 1990s up to date. The Archive is being constantly replenished and continuing the research of modern state of new media arts in Ukraine. During the lecture Ianina Prudenko, curator and researcher of new media arts, is to introduce major periods of the history of Ukrainian new media art, three generations of media artists and five main centres – cities of Kyiv, Odessa, Lviv, Kharkiv and Kherson. The lecture also comprised the screening of artworks from the collection of Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art.
Assistant professor, National Pedagogical Dragomanov University
Independent researcher of new media arts
Curator of Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art: http://www.mediaartarchive.org.ua/
Curator of New Art School: http://www.newartschool.org/
Curated projects: "Warning! New Media Inside" (2014, Žilina, Slovakia), "Trained Glitches" (2014, Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine), "[un]moved" (2014, Art Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine), "Premonition'013" (2015, KhudGraf Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine), "EcoBiruchiy" (2015, art residence Biruchiy Contemporary Art Project, Zaporozhye, Ukraine), "WARNING!" (2015, Lviv, Ukraine), "Dot line" (2015, Lublin, Poland), "Re(de)constraction" (2016, Wrocław, Poland), "WARNING!" (2016, Wolkersdorf, Austria)
This project is a part of The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale. You can find all the information about the biennale in THE WRONG section.