Engaged Feminist Maker

Art, Fashion, Theory

Yelena Myshko

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine
Based in Arnhem, the Netherlands

2020 Heineken Prize for Art, nominated
2019 Arts Unfold: Naked State residency, Fonds Kwadraat loan
2019 Artes Mundi 9, nominated
2019 Kunstschouw Award, shortlisted, material prize awarded
2019 Walter Koschatzky Art-Award, nominated
2018 BLOOOM Award by Warsteiner, nominated
2017 Hendrik Muller Fonds, awarded
2017 ArtEZ Profileringsfonds, awarded
2009 Elle NL Stylist Award, nominated
2009 HKU Jan van Scorel Fonds, awarded

2012 Gen Y Folk: anthropology of digital culture, ROAM, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2010 One Hour Art: second hour, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Netherlands

2019 NULLLLL, Evenementenhal De Prodentfabriek, Amersfoort, the Netherlands
2019 BODY ISSUE: Feminism Rising, Brigant, Arnhem, the Netherlands
2019 Naked State, Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, East Gwillimbury, Ontario, Canada
2019 Concept the 5th International Exhibition of Conceptual Art, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA), Gimpo, South Korea
2019 Kunstschouw Zeeland, Landgoedhotel Slot Moermond, Renesse, the Netherlands
2019 Snowballs from Texas, The Performance Bar, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2019 Walter Koschatzky Art-Award, MUMOK Hofstallungen, Vienna, Austria
2019 Kunst & Vreten, de Stadskeuken, Arnhem, the Netherlands
2019 Discobal #2: Other, Extrapool, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
2019 Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts Annual, Mystic Museum of Art, Mystic, Connecticut, USA
2019 PerfoArtNet Manifestos of Gender, Race and Relations, Sala de Exposiciones ASAB, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogotá, Colombia
2019 Oops!404, Liebig12, Berlin, Germany
2018 PerfoArtNet International Biennal of Performance, Bogotá, Colombia
2018 Endangered Bodies, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
2018 Tallahassee International, Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
2018 Artist Statement #3, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA), Gimpo, South Korea
2018 Temporal and Corporeal, Ohio University Art Gallery, Athens, Ohio, USA
2017 The Frozen Chernozyom, Prospect Revolutsii, Voronezh, Russia
2017 Surgery Slave, The Nave, London, United Kingdom
2017 Dufus Tedious, Paleis van Mieris, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2017 Beyond Fashion, Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2014 Asalto!, Espacio Trapézio, Madrid, Spain
2014 ULTRA FEMINIST, Roodkapje Rot(t)terdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2013 Inf.Ins, Leeszaal Rotterdam West, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2012 Artists bound by fashion, The House of Rising, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2011 Six degrees of separation, Roodkapje Rot(t)terdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2011 Project Mousewalk, NOORDERLICHT 010 Festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2010 HKU Fruit Fest, Het Huis, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2010 One Hour Art: first hour, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2010 ZWART GAT, Zeedijk 6, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2009 ROES, Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

David Frankovich (CA), Martin Butler (UK/DE), Melanie Bonajo (NL), Ruchama Noorda (NL), Jasper Griepink (NL), Toine Klaassen (NL), Leandro Cardoso and Caetano Carvalho (BR), Chto Delat? Collective (RU), Andrea Crews (FR), And Beyond Studios (NL), Lena IVANOVA (UA)

2017-2018 MSSc Gender Studies Intersectionality and Change
2013-2014 Minor Gender Studies
2013-2017 MA Fashion Strategy
2006-2010 BA Fashion Design with honours


Yelena Myshko is a multidisciplinary artist based in Arnhem, the Netherlands. She was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1985. Yelena studied Fashion Design, Fashion Strategy and Gender Studies. She is working with performance since 2010.

Her interest in politics led to an affiliation with international feminist protest group FEMEN for two years. Yelena participated in boot camps and actions in Germany, France and the Netherlands and became the leader of FEMEN Netherlands. This experience influenced Yelena´s artistic tone of voice and visual language.

Yelena exhibited in the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Russia, South Korea, Colombia, Canada and USA. She was nominated for the BLOOOM Award 2018, Walter Koschatzky Art-Award 2019, received a material prize from Kunstschouw Award 2019, and was nominated for the prestigious Artes Mundi 9 and Heineken Prize for Art 2020. Her work is published in various magazines and books that promote emerging artists.

Artist Statement

My artistic practice is grounded in lived experience. As a woman I have a subjective point of view, as a feminist I use it as critique on social construction of art. I am a parrhesiast that speaks her truth no matter the consequences, establishing a polemic relationship with the World. I locate existential tension points within my socio‐cultural environment and project them on my body, creating a subversive perspective on the female nude.

My aesthetic choices could be described as Dirty Realism, like the literature genre. I implode mundane aspects of ordinary life and turn them into a weapon to destroy beauty. Using no make-up, everyday objects, and blunt body language I create a reductionist vocabulary. The challenge is to use simple means in resourceful ways.

My work is political in the footsteps of art of the 1960’s. I am influenced by the social upheaval that produced Fluxus and feminist artists. In particular, I appropriate Hannah Wilke’s performalist self-portrait. This is performance in front of the camera that produces intimate images and reaches the audience through reproduction.

With my performalist self-portraits I explore the phenomenology of identity production. I take snapshots until I capture a moment that communicates ambiguity. This grabs attention and provokes associational thinking. It is unsettling, it pinches and makes you look twice. Allowing me to be a reflexive actor instead of an object in art.