SYNAXIS// Exhibition Statement
Having emigrated from Russia to the United States, I recognized new possibilities for myself, while re-envisioning the cultural, social and political climate of present day Russia. Connection with American culture has helped me look back, learn and analyze the interplay of ethnic and geographical influences. In many ways American culture has helped to shape my ideas for developing the concept of “other.” This is, ultimately has resulted in my “othering” in Russia, while in the United States, I am also regarded as “the other.” And so what does “home” signify to and for me?
“Home” is now a dialogue and negotiated space; it is a process in which I am constantly constructing, defining, and redefining my own cultural space and identity. Thus, I have felt a growing need to explore the sacred art of Russian icons. Their visual aesthetics have become an inspiration for my work, as a human vision and human visage. I am looking at this structured façade as a symbol and metaphor for a borderline (both physical and spiritual) that separates, yet, simultaneously connects all of us in this global community. Observing the complexity of cultural codes, I want to establish a visual recognition and a tactile dialogue of looking, seeing, and realizing… There is no “other.”
*These two short video clips were created in collaboration with artists Karen Hipscher and Ryan Montano to support this project and highlight my practices.