My name is Viacheslav Poliakov ⁄ Вʼячеслав Поляков. I was born in Kherson (now a frontline city in the south of Ukraine) in 1986. The year of Chernobyl, the time the Russian Empire were falling apart once again. As a kid, I missed the apocalypse, but enjoyed the aftermath as a teen: street gangs, packs of stray dogs and abandoned factories.

I’ve got Master’s Degree in Art Education in Kherson State University making ink drawings. My History of Arts course ended on XIX century realism, and, being pissed off, I’ve jumped into commercial 3D. Thanking to the art community built by Max & Lena Afanasievy (Totem), uderground gallery run by Slava Mashnitskiy (MCMX) and personal practice of Stas Voliazlovskiy I stayed connected to art.

In 2012 I got interested in photography and run away to Lviv: a city with a wider art scene and a close proximity to lowcost airports in Poland. There I met Elena Subach and we became a photographic community for each other.

My art practice is heavily influenced by design — my day-job. I’m interested in objects and spaces made by people, the process of creation, the historic background behind the urban landscape.


2020 — Zhylpas. Photography of Zhanna Vozbrannaya (self-published)

2018 — Lviv–God’s Will (Overlapse, UK) 2017 — Backspaces (self-published)

Personal exhibitions

2022 — "Subach / Poliakov / 2022" in Szara gallery, in scope of Друг друга / Druh Druha — Ukrainian art in galleries of Warsaw (PL)

2020 — “Жилпас”. Photos by Zhanna Vozbrannaya at Kherson Musuem of Contemporary Art (Ukraine). In collaboration with Elena Subach.

2020 — Posters on walls of Hamburg, Galerie 21 im Künstlerhaus Vorwerkstift

2019 — Heroic Trip, Szara gallery (Katowice, Poland) 2019 — City of Gardens, EEP Berlin 2018 — Subach/Poliakov, The Naked Room gallery (Kyiv)

Group projects & exhibitions

2024 — ‘Forever and A Day' at Melkweg Expo (Amsterdam)

2024 — WAR(N) at Przestrzeń Sztuki Mleczny Piotr (Gdańsk, PL)

2023 — ‘(Un)told what lies at the basis of photography and memory’ exhibition by Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk (Poland)

2023 — ‘Artistic Expressions in Contemporary Europe’ in Museo de las Artes – MUSA (Guadalajara, Mexico)

2023 — ‘Our Years, Our Words, Our Losses, Our Searches, Our Us’ at Jam Factory contemporary art center (Lviv, Ukraine) 2023 — ‘Home’ by Open Eye Gallery (London, UK) and Ukrainian.Photographies 2023 — Riga Photography Biennial ‘NEXT 2023!’ 2023 — Work-in-Progress (Bakin, Furyk, Kononova, Poliakov & Subach) at KVOST, Berlin 2022–2023 — ‘Ukraine! Unmuted’ by Institute for Cultural Strategy (UA):

@ Kaunas Center of Architecture (LV)

@ Biala gallery (Lublin, PL)

@ Lviv Polytechnic University (UA) is scope of Lviv Cultural Congress

2022 — “Stand with Ukraine” is the scope of Photaumnales festival (#19 Cartographies) in Palace Saint-Etienne (Beauvais, FR) by Diaphane photographic centre 2022 — "The Path to Freedom" by Noorderlicht at Akerk, Groningen (NL)

2022 — "Foreboding Landscape" by Odessa Photo Days, series of exhibitions:
@ La Chambre in Strasburg (FR)
@ Palais de Tokyo in the frame of The Parliament of Photography, Paris
@ Fotofestival Lodz (PL)

2022 — "Unfolding Landscapes", series of exhibitions:
@ Art Centre Silkeborg Bad (Denmark)
@ Art & History Museum Brussels
@ KunstZeugHaus (Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland)

2022 — "With Ukraine" at Hinterconti gallery, Hamburg (DE)

2022 — ”Slava Ukraini” at Czwartek gallery (Warsaw)

2021 — "Imaginary Architecture for Imaginary Communities" at Galeria Centrala (Poznan, Poland)

2021 — "Sensitivity. Contemporary Ukrainian photography" at Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv) 2020 — Brüdershaft. Deutsche Wochen in der Ukraine (Kyiv, Dnipro, Harkiv)

2020 — “XEPAPT” by Kherson Musuem of Contemporary Art (Ukraine)

2020 — “Alternative archeology: Uzhgorod”. Book by Periscope (Ukraine) 2020 — Staged Realities, Outdoor Exhibition by OSTLOOK+EEP Berlin. Part of "POSTWEST \\ guess where" at Transcultural Festival, Volksbühne Berlin

2019 — "Let’s Talk About Modernity" by 24H Extended at Jam Factory (Lviv, Ukraine)

2019 — "Ukrainian Cross-Section" (Український Зріз) at Triennale of Contemporary Art (Lviv, Ukraine)

2019 — II Biennale of Young Ukrainian Art (Kharkiv, Ukraine)

2019 — "How to deal with history" by Ostlook platform at Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival (Georgia)

2019 — Riga Photomonth 2018 — New East Photo Prize exhibition by Calvert Journal (London) 2018 — Circulations Festival (Paris) 2018 — Athens Photo Festival (Greece) 2018 — "Somewhere now" (Tam gdzie teraz) in Galerię Labirynt (Lublin, Poland) 2018 — Gallery Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West, the open air exhibition by FoAm 2017–18 — Foam Talents travelling exhibition:

@ Foam Fotografiemuseum (Amsterdam)

@ Red Hook Labs (NYC)

@ Beaconsfield (London)

@ Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt)

2017 — Fotofestiwal Lodz Grand Prix section (Poland) 2017 — Krakow Photomonth festival ShowOff section (Poland) 2017 — The Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists by Mysteskyi Arsenal (Kyiv) 2017 — Ostrale Biennale (Dresden, Germany)

2017 — "Knowns-Unknowns. Lviv' photography after the year 2000". Ludwik Zamenhof Centre at Białystok Interphoto Festival (Poland)

2016 — "GalKult: Western Ukrainian Art Exhibition" at Yermilov Centre (Kharkiv, Ukraine)

2015 — Odesa/Batumi PhotoDays festival (Batumi, Georgia)

2013–2014 — "Terra Futura" festivals. Photography, media, installation (Kherson, Ukraine)

2013 — "New Breath of Culture: Fill Heritage with Life of Arts” by Totem at museums in Signangi and Kutaisi (Georgia)

2012 — "Lviv Alternative Art Guide" by Symbolum Sacrum Foundation (Lviv, Ukraine)

Awards & mentions

2022 — RGULAR Research Grant Program for Ukrainian Lens-Based Artists and Researchers

2018 — Gaude Polonia scolarship by National Centre for Culture Poland

2017 — FOAM Talent 2017 — Vienna Photobook Festival Award (3rd place) 2017 — Laureate of the Krakow Photomonth festival (ShowOff) 2017 — Grand Prix Fotofestiwal Lodz finalist 2017 — Shortlist of the Prix Levallois

2017 — 3rd place at the Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists by Mysteskyi Arsenal (Kyiv, Ukraine)

2014 — Stipendiate of the Symbolum Sacrum Foundation in Lviv (Ukraine) and Rotterdam (Netherlands)