Vlad Troitskyi, director of Centre of Contemporary Art “DAKH”, established GOGOLFEST in 2007. The project was created by a progressive group of Ukrainians who strived to create a new contemporary art scene in Ukraine. There has been rising need for the development of an art forum that presents a high level of Ukrainian culture and contemporary arts to the world. Since 2008, Evgeni Utkin (Kvazar Micro IT company) has been Chairman of the GOGOLFEST Board of Trustees.
The great author and playwright, Nikolai Gogol, embodies facets of two Slavic cultures. His work also shows that Ukrainian and Russian share common European roots and values. Nikolai Gogol’s legacy inspired the festival’s name. GOGOLFEST is rapidly becoming a cultural hub, combining the avant-garde of Ukrainian and Russian contemporary arts with the European arts of the East and West.
GOGOLFEST is a fundamental investment into the future and education of the Ukrainian nation. It is an attempt to find a place for contemporary arts in this culture and serves as an opportunity to present a new generation of Ukrainian artists to the World.
The festival came to light in the unique Old Arsenal, a former armaments factory built by the Italian architect Johann Moeller in 1803. In 2010 festival has changed its location and moved to the Dovzhenko National filmstudio.
The amount of visitors rose from 10 000 to 100 000 people over 4 years. 80% of the audience were between 15-30 years, and 60% of them between 25-30 years. About 800 participants from more than 32 countries participate annually.