NonStopMedia is one of the first festivals in Ukraine to focus on youth art (the first NonStopMedia was held in 2003). NonStopMedia is a “launching pad” for experimental visual art in Ukraine, which allows young and still unknown artists to introduce themselves.
An important part of the festival is a parallel program – lectures, video shows, literary readings, music concerts, theater performances. We also pay a lot of attention to the educational part of the project. We usually invite famous artists, curators and art critics to share their experiences with participants through lectures and workshops during the festival.
The first NonStopMedia festival was held in 2003, and it was really needed for the city, needed for Ukraine, because there was no other competition of this kind for young artists. This was before the appearance of the Pinchuk or Young Ukrainian Artists award. Young artists existed, but they had no way to show their work. The second NonStopMedia took place in 2004 and a decision was made to turn it into a biennial. In 2018, the ninth NonStopMedia took place. The format of the festival has changed throughout its history. However, each time it was based on an exhibition of the winners’ projects, which took place at different locations: from galleries to shopping centers. But most often it was one big and new exhibition space (the festival opens not only artists but also places), and we returned to this practice this year, too. For this reason the Students’ Palace of the National Technical University “KhPI” was chosen as the main location – it is both a historical and a newly discovered place.
The idea of this year’s festival is to create connections, a large network of artists and curators, people who are engaged in contemporary art in Ukraine. Therefore, in addition to the program of open events available to the general public, the festival hosted a closed program for the NonStopMedia winners. Compared to previous years, we did not change anything drastically, rather we tried to enhance communication between participants, festival organizers, and jury members as much as possible. Because the exhibition and the final project NonStopMedia are great, but it is much more important to let the young artist know that communication and exchange of information between all participants of the process are more important than any exhibition or money. After all, if you cannot find like-minded people, unfortunately the art system spits you out.
As regards networking and creating connections. While preparing for the last festival, we wondered what could become the motivation for our winners and came to the conclusion that for young artists this would be primarily opportunities in the art community. So, we had agreed in advance with our friends and fellow gallery owners from different Ukrainian cities about prize exhibitions for each of our finalists in the following year.