Publishing as Scaffolding, Part 3: Iliazd programme
with Sezgin Boynik, Nikolay Karabinovych and Eugene Ostashevsky

Sunday 19th May, 19h


Evening dedicated to Ilya Zdanevich – Iliazd, who was born in 1894 in Tbilisi, and died in 1975 in Paris. He was a poet, designer, typographer, theoretician, and publisher who, through zaum, created a new language of internationalism.

Zaum (in Russian, beyondsense) is seen as the most extreme manifestation of abstraction in Futurist poetry; Zdanevich defined it as the “pearl disease” in language, with potential to destroy not only social and national barriers, but also the ones dividing humans and animals.

In the event Sezgin Boynik will present bie-bao series: militant zaum investigations, a series dedicated to Iliazd’s life and work. Each volume in the bie-bao series introduces translation of Iliazd's texts, with annotations and commentaries to actualize his unjustly marginalized work

A poet and translator Eugene Ostashevsky, whose translation and commentary of Iliazd’s words-in-freedom poem on Roland Garros is forthcoming in the next volume of bie-bao series will give a talk on aviation and visual poetry.

A visual artist Nikolay Karabinovych, will reconstruct liazd’s philosophy based on his writings on Istanbul. Both in his recent exhibition at HKW and in his contribution to the fifth volume of bie-bao series, Karabinovych presents Iliazd as an anti-imperialist and decolonialist artist.

During the evening we will also present the forthcoming translations of Iliazd’s writings on Berlin from the beginning of the twenties. We will discuss Iliazd’s report on 1923 Berlin, critical of the emigre artists watering down the radicality of zaum experiments, as an important document shedding light on the contradictions of the politics of the avant-garde.


Sezgin Boynik is a writer, editor and publisher based in Helsinki. He is the founder of Rab-Rab Press and co-founder of Pykë-Presje. His first book is Still Stealing Steel: Historical Materialist Study of Zaum (published in an edition of 41 copies in Tbilisi, 2014). His text 'In the Shadow of Zaum: Rab-Rab Press in Retrospect' is forthcoming in OEI magazine vol 104-15 in 2024 in Stockholm. 

Nikolay Karabinovych (b. 1988, Odesa, Ukraine) works across various media such as video installation, performance, sound, and sculpture. He explores the social histories of Eastern Europe, approaching collective and personal memory by means of analytical, conceptual or interventionist tactics.In 2020 he graduated from the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent. Karabinovych was an assistant curator of the 5th Odesa Biennale. In 2022, 2020 and 2018, he was awarded the first PinchukArtCentre Prize.

His work has been shown extensively at public institutions (M UHKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; HKW, Berlin, Belgium Jewish Museum, Bozar, Brussels; w139, Amsterdam; Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw; Pinchuk Art Centre, Kyiv; and many others) and in galleries (Hunt Kastner gallery, Prague; Voloshyn Gallery, Kyiv; Hit Gallery, Bratislava and others) He has also participated in the Kaunas Biennale (2023), the Kyiv Biennale (2023, 2021) and in parallel program of Venice Biennale (2024, 2022).

Eugene Ostashevsky is a poet and translator whose writing is described as “translingual” because of its focus on multilingualism and linguistic interference. His Feeling Sonnets (Carcanet, NYRB Poets, 2022) examine the effects of speaking a non-native language on emotions, parenting, and identity.  An earlier book, The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi (NYRB Poets, 2017), discusses communication difficulties between pirates and parrots. The German-language version of the book by Uljana Wolf and Monicka Rinck, called Der Pirat, de von Pi den Wert nicht kennt, won the City of Münster International Poetry Prize. As translator, Ostashevsky is best known for his editions of the historical avant-garde, such as OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern UP, 2006) and Vasily Kamensky's Tango with Cows: Text, Commentary, Facsimile, an English-language reconstruction of a work of Russian Futurist typographic visual poetry.