Ken Greenleaf in Kyiv: Getting there is a start

by Ken Greenleaf, Artist

Ken Greenleaf is in Kyiv, Ukraine, for a show of his work along with artists from Ukraine and Sweden. He will be blogging about his experience from Kyiv. Ken had a one-person exhibition at CMCA in 2012, titled Intercept.

Getting here isn't so easy. You go to Amsterdam on a night flight that you are lucky enough to share with 525 others, many of whom are going to the same marine equipment trade show and have prepared themselves at the nearby tavern, and grown talkative and opinionated about the recent election. I hope they are better at seagoing vessels than the ship of state if the ones I could hear were a representative sample.

The Airbus is apparently so named because the seats are so narrow and close together, like superannuated Greyhound. An eight-hour night flight on one of these babies and you're ready to tell the authorities whatever they want to hear.

Next leg a routine flight to Kyiv, Borispol airport and a military set of customs inspectors who look like they mean business. Nervously hand over passport, get a long look and then a smile and "Enjoy your stay in Kyiv, Mr. Greenleaf." Things are starting to look up.

They get even better when I meet the gallery owner, Marina Shcherbenko, and her assistant Maria and a translator, Dasha, who take me in hand in a mad whirl, as if by the three graces, and before long I've seen the gallery -- an elegant, professional space, and am fed traditional Ukranian food (best borscht I know of) and set up in my temporary apartment. I'm here. In Kyiv.