A few words about civility
As an artist Anastasia Potemkina is doing several crucial researches at once combining different author’s incarnations. Besides being a solo artist, she is a member of “Urban fauna lab” and often works with different artistic and artistic-theoretical duos. However bombastic it sounds Anastasia studies the liberating practices of daily life. She is interested in the way of breaking the course of nature and destroying the repressive component of ordinary routine by means of elementary common rituals. She shows how human behavior based on fears and complexes is imposed by patriarchal culture codes and official mass culture. The feature that makes this artist so special and different from other politically- or gender-oriented ones is her attempt of positive statement in other words a specific search for alternative. Presenting the absurd worldview the audience is indicated that it’s absolutely the same as everyone face in day-to-day life without noticing. And then with the help of various techniques, misusing the objects and providing them with unfamiliar characteristics, carrying out a surreal invasion a la Bunuel the artist finds the alternative of absurd that is to be the most effective therapeutic agent in this case. Sometimes the direct criticism appears for exposure of the unwise and redundant circumstances which the spectators may and have to face themselves. As for the rest Potemkina suggests mutual struggling the forces of horror as described in Julia Christeva’s namesake book.
The exhibition will include not only the latest works partly created for the event but also some previously displayed works which are to get a more complete reflection of audience’s experience. The “Album” is the oldest and the most famous project of the author where she graphically reconstructs different scenes connected to patriarchal mass culture – starting from hostage taking and ending with brothel over Dega’s famous “Dancing lesson” reproduction. The videoart at the exhibition is on the one hand a rough documentation of geopolitical nonsense and on the other hand – a sad and witty comment on the today situation in Ukraine.
Photo- and sound- installations designed specifically for the exhibition make up a single well-composed narrative about the common level of resistance to patriarchal directions, about the reasons why we should resist it and the way we should perceive the world with a freer view on life. This is a view where life is comfortable in all its everyday needs and actions; where body belongs to its bearer and not to anyone else; where the set of repressive culture codes is discarded and a person learns to work with his/her fears.
Andrey Parshikov, curator.