For a long time the art of animation has not been confined to merely hand-drawn pictures or even computer graphics. October 3 through 20, the visitors of Kyiv City Gallery of Art “Lavra” can make sure of this. It is hosting the International Festival of Actual Animation and Media Art “Linoleum,” which is held beyond Russia for the first time in its eight-year history. This time there will be no competition program. According to the organizers, they decided to familiarize Ukrainian audience with their project. At the same time, it is quite possible that in the following years the festival will be held in its full format.
“Linoleum was brought to Kyiv on the initiative of the Ukrainian side,” director of the Lavra Gallery Tetiana MYRONOVA emphasized in her interview to The Day, “I think that Kyivites are already ready to perceive this kind of art, for the thing is not just about the art of animation, but about actual animation – cartoons that make you think. Not only is this an interesting event for youth, but also a place for family recreation. Clearly, it is not simple to organize such an event merely from the technical viewpoint: the screenings will take place on a daily basis (12 a.m.-8 p.m.) simultaneously in five halls. Fortunately, various institutions have offered their help to us, in particular, the Kyiv Planetarium. It is wonderful that Ukrainian animators take a great interest in the festival. This year only three Ukrainian studios will participate in it, but hopefully already next year (we plan to hold Linoleum in our country on an annual basis), namely Ukrainian animation will have a much broader representation.”
The launch of the event drew many connoisseurs of contemporary animation. The audience was able to see a specially created collection of the best works of the forum of the previous years. It seems that the variety of means used by the artists of animation for creation of the presented films did not leave anyone indifferent. Those included several techniques of collage, street graffiti, which were transformed into a dynamic video, pencil drawings, computer graphics, etc. Most of the works are on the verge of several kinds of art at a time (according to the rules of the festival, the animation component must make no less than 30 percent of the movie). After the screening the audience had an opportunity to see the animation which does not have a hard copy – it was a performance by Svitlana Honcharenko, an artist who paints with sand. This kind of art is also called “sand animation.” At the end of the soiree Oleh Skrypka played his DJ set; Gallery Lavra once became the first venue where he tried his hand at this genre.
Further screenings will take place simultaneously in five halls. The audience will have an opportunity to see the best films of previous years, including Oscar nominee Madagascar, a Journey Diary by Bastien Dubois, in the Red Hall. The screenings of the works by Ukrainian authors, as well as numerous lectures and master classes will be held in the Blue Hall. The participants will try to create an “animation” – Oleh Pedan will deliver a master class on doll animation, and the Golden Lion Studio will teach the visitors the nuances of sand art. The Yellow Hall will host a special program, organized for young viewers, and the Violet Hall will show animation for adults: film collection called “Shocking Linoleum” will be screened there. The audience will see abstract animation created for VJ sets on the screens of the equipped mini-cafe in the Green Hall. The program of unique spherical movie theater Fulldome, technical equipment for which has been provided by the Kyiv Planetarium, is supposed to become a zest of the festival.
“Linoleum is Russia’s biggest festival of alternative actual animation, which is an integral part of contemporary art,” says the founder of the festival Mikhail Tsarev, “Annually we receive 150 pictures from 40 countries of the world, most of which the audience won’t see on the big screen. Incidentally, sometimes we get more animation works from Ukraine than from Russia. Your country has old-time traditions in this kind of art. You have a very nice and grateful audience, and we are interested in making it know more about our festival. We plan to involve Ukrainian animators in the jury in the future, create a joint prize fund, and turn Linoleum into a truly international event, which will be held, among others, in Ukrainian cities.”
Mikhail Tsarev says that animation depends on economic factors considerably less than, for example, making of films.
“Animation artists usually make money on advertisement videos or other production, created with commercial purpose,” he says, “However, they create ‘for themselves’ the works presented at our festival. Later the authors often upload them on the Internet to be watched for free. I think, the same can be said about the artists who continue to paint pictures, but for some objective reasons cannot have commercial success today and therefore don’t go to galleries. On the other hand, for many animators participation in our festival is not just a hobby, but also a great opportunity to boost their reputation, which makes their chances to get international grants considerably higher and helps to find a regular job.”