GOGOLFEST: A Festival of Culture

Vladislav Troitskii, the director, artistic director and producer of the DAKH Centre for the Contemporary Arts, had a vision to create a festival that was not only a multicultural event showcasing modern art, but polyphonic as well. Together with the Art Arsenal Culture and Arts Complex, the DAKH Centre for the Contemporary Arts created the GOGOLFEST festival in 2007, which has become an annual event. The Old Arsenal, which is a historical armaments factory constructed in 1803, was the ideal location to bring literary projects, visual art, modern dance, chamber music and many other cultural disciplines together under one roof.

The very first GOGOLFEST was a huge success, uniting the intellectual, talented and creative minds of Ukraine. The GOGOL Portrait, which was on display, was a thematic modern art exhibition. Over a hundred artists from Russia, Ukraine and even Poland participated in this showcase, bringing international literary works, concerts and plays to the public, and over ten thousand spectators supported the festival. As each festival takes on a life of its own, the second edition was named the Festival of Festivals, and offered audiences a taste of the best performances from other festivals, which included animated film, ethnic music, choirs, theater and educational programs. The festival attendance grew to over fifty thousand. In 2009, over a hundred and fifty thousand visitors attended, with the participation of approximately twenty-five countries and eight hundred cultural advocates.

Last year, the fourth edition of the GOGOLFEST was hosted at the Dovzhenko Film Studio during the month of September, and was attended by La Fura Dels Baus, a Spanish Theater, as well as the musical group Huun Huun Tu, and various other wonderful artists. Each year, this magnificent international festival of contemporary art grows in popularity and in attendance numbers, making it one of the most anticipated events on the festival calendar of Ukraine. A need was seen by a group of Ukraine art enthusiasts who found a way to bring contemporary art to the public, starting humbly with only Ukrainian artists attending, and growing into an international event of world class standard.