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Never the last work

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Part 5 Keep working… Reworking...

Installation (Selfies on the background of the Church)

The final work cannot be finished if there is still so much potential. I continued to research and reflect. My questions were all the same - how to endow objects with thought? And what is the truest thought for me?

After researching the artists listed below, I realized that I needed to go further beyond the dimensions of a sheet of paper or canvas. I already said that I lack sound, smell and taste in artwork. Need tactile sensations. The more feelings involved, the greater the involvement of the viewer. But I need to go in stages.

I analyzed a lot of artists working with video installations. Someone collects objects and makes compositions out of them, and then projects them onto walls (Helen Maurer), someone creates new techniques (Douglas White, Matt Saunders), and then presents them with the help of light. And someone simply makes projections on historical places or even on his mother (Marwah AlMugait, Mona Hatoum) and additionally devotes us to the context.

But, all these artists told their story. It was always their world of experienced feelings. Highlighting this main difference, I asked myself, what is the most important thing in my story? And the answer was self-identification.

I'm Russian. Unfortunately, for 4 years now I have not lived in my country. As a Muscovite in the fourth generation, I felt this place like no other. I miss my parents, friends, spiritual feasts typical of Russians, specific Russian food, a habit going to the theatre, to a concert, and to exhibitions several times a week. I miss the snow and the greyness in which Moscow lives all nine months. I miss the brilliant professors of my institutes, albeit working the old fashioned way, but feeling so much and loving, what they do. After moving with my husband to Sao Paulo, I was shocked by everything. Literally by all! How much different colours in nature - brightness, contrasts. Other food. Other relationship between people. No snow… Then there was Shanghai, and then my mind realized that I arrived on the moon. Now, this is Germany, although with wonderful people, but there is no that soulfulness for me.

I love and am proud of my culture, but I am sorry for the country due to political aspects.

This is a contradiction within me (love of culture and hatred of the political situation) and led me to work at the junction of two contradictions, about which I already wrote earlier. This is abstraction and realism, analogue and digital, secular and spiritual. The real world and the world of social networks, self-love in selfies and the true face of a person. Such comparisons have led me to the idea of ​​contrasting these values ​​and showing them together, thereby the contradiction itself will come to the fore.

Processing the portraits of my friends, I started by selecting the right photos on Instagram. One person’s Instagram account is his life, which he/she writes/lives for the public, so I took several selfies of one person and combined them on one sheet of paper.

Another feature of my culture is a Russian woman. She is strong and does everything herself, she often supports the whole family and builds a successful career, but at the same time, she remains feminine, sexual and charming. According to statistics, in Russia, there are more women than men, and if we clean up men with alcohol addiction, this gap will become even greater.

In total, at the beginning of 2019, 146.781 million people lived in Russia, of which 68.097 million were men and 78.684 million were women. RIA (Accessed 22/12/2019)

Therefore, a Russian young lady has to compete (follow a figure, read books, work in a prestigious company, be a good housewife ...) to achieve the desired. In my work, I decided to present only portraits of my girlfriends - strong, courageous, smart and charming.

Then I finalized the resulting live portraits with a real projection of the original photographs. This allowed us to create two-dimensionality on a piece of paper. A game of imagination. The brain does not understand what is drawn and what is not? An additional element of abstraction - a ball or a circle helps to be sure that it is a drawing because, in reality, the balls do not fly.

A ball is an additional object for entering the work, they balance the composition and set the dynamics. Dramatic changes occurred after I started using the Black Lamp (ultraviolet light). The work flared up and began to sparkle with new colours. I initially sought to ensure that the light came from work as in the Icon. But there was a tightness, there was not enough freedom and space. There was no monumentality, question, argument, sound.

I liked the Lee Kit approach, as it takes an item or question and discusses it, filling the gallery with contextual clues and hints. The rug is there, little note here, a ray of light. And then I wanted to recreate the most controversial. To recreate the Russian soul - the church. A wooden bench for those who attend church, domes from Sergius Lavra and bell ringing. To put portraits on easels (one more space) here the viewer will feel that the person in front of them. The projector and the black light lamp should be placed in such a way that a person crosses the rays during the passage, so the person will be involved by his shadow in communication with the artwork.

my photo taken in 2014 in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius

This summer I visited the Christian Boltanski "Memories" exhibition in Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte Völklingen (Saarland), Germany. Passing the boxes of workers at this factory, I got goosebumps and wanted to cry. From the hopelessness of people's lives, which consisted only of these boxes and their forced work in this factory and their early death due to this hard and dirty work. I drew a parallel to how people now live, enjoy, take selfies ... what's behind them, is it hard or easy? How and in what do they find themselves?

Voelklinger Huette, Christian Boltanski, Erinnerungen | Souvenirs | Memories [online] At: (Accessed 20/12/2019).

In Russia, I would say that the church is always with a person. One way or another, we (Russians) are returning there for a request, for joy, for the sake of gratitude ... People are crowding around, giving the whole space some unique energy ... I wanted to recreate this crowd near the cathedral. In parallel, create an atmosphere, as it were, outside and inside the temple.

Music in use - Everyday bell ringing (useraudio, Колокольный звон 02_Будничный звон (online) [audio] At: (Accessed 20/12/2019).

The ringing of a bell is considered healing and it is so opposed to the ringing of a smartphone. That is why at least in the gallery I want to spread a positive sound and allow a person to escape from the synthetic melody of coming SMS on the phone.

My country house (Dacha) is located on the path of Sergius Lavra. In the summer of 2014, I visited this place, with the aim of bowing to the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh. This visit left a lasting impression and is now transformed into this work.


Technical part

  • The exposition of the work should be held in a dark room using three projectors or more, depending on the number of portraits presented and with black lamps.

  • Depending on the exhibition space, it is necessary to establish wooden benches (not Catholic!) for visitors.

  • Presented portraits on paper should be placed on wooden easels (tripod for the artist) with reinforcement to prevent drawing from rolling. The wood is traditional for Russian culture, such a representation will help to add authenticity.

  • Easels, projectors and ultraviolet lamps should be located so that the viewer can move between them, covering with his body the light and beam of the projector.

  • The soundtrack of the bell should be repeated after a pause of one minute.

  • The projection of the Assumption Cathedral should cover the entire wall with the overlapping of one work - as indicated in the photograph.

  • To get an impression of the proposed exposure, I present to your attention a test video.

  • These originals are used for projection on drawings. Depending on the exhibition space, projections are adjusted additionally.

The combination of video, photography, readymade, painting and sound makes the work layered and intriguing.


As a result, it can be an entire exhibition with three halls of installations and paintings.

In my opinion, through painting, you can see the trends and heritage of the Russian school - a subtle play of colour, melancholy in the space of paintings and poetry in composition.

It will be a dialogue between logic and structure, to which we strive and the explosive emotions that every Russian is so important to experience.

some examples of my work

A heavy, loaded plot like in Tolstoy, Kandinsky’s innovations, passion and emotions of Rostropovich.

The desire to imitate the European way of life and the continuation of everyday melancholy Russian's life.



Marwah AlMugait

Marwah AlMugait (2019) AlBunt [video installation] At: (Accessed 04/12/2019).

“The story goes on to tell how this building, throughout those years, was a place where pilgrims who came to the city of Jeddah from all over the world to perform Haj were embraced. The AlBunt building was used as a medical center, where pilgrims were provided with health services before they were transferred to Makkah. This not only accorded great importance to the building itself but also brought vitality to the area as a whole,” she said.

Saudi Gazette, Bab AlBunt Museum drawing large crowds At: (Accessed 18/12/2019).

Tony Oursler

Tony Oursler, EUC%, 2015, wood, ink-jet print, LCD screens, USB flash drives, sound, 113 x 71.5 x 30.5" [Object] At: (Accessed 04/12/2019).

From his first single channel videos of the 70’s and 80’s to the dummies of the 90’s, the central axis of his work is the human body and how it is affected by violence, media, sexuality, mental disorders, technology. During the late 90’s he begins to concentrate on groups of smaller works such as the Eyes Series and the Talking Heads, where he reduces his ideas to a bare minimum.

His new solo exhibition at Bernier/Eliades, centers around his fascination with the evolution of identity via techniques of facial recognition technology. The artist focuses on the contemporary trend that creates machines to interpret and measure human expressions and he is fascinated by modern psychology and sophisticated mimetic technologies. Oursler explores the ways in which the human body uses its own corporeal mechanisms, especially the face and head, to express identity and project emotions. bernier-eliades Tony Oursler At: (Accessed 19/12/2019).

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders, poelzig / the intricate alps, 2015, 3 channel hd video projection, custom screens [video installation] At: (Accessed 04/12/2019).

To create his images, Matt Saunders uses a technique that dips into alchemy. After choosing an image (from a film, or a postcard etc.) and having reproduced it in paint on a large scale canvas, he puts the result onto photo paper and exposes it to light. The light passes through the canvas where the paint doesn’t stop it and makes the photographic paper react. The result is a photograph that looks like a negative of the painting.

Numéro, Matt Saunders, the American artist who likes to flood a canvas At: 18/12/2019).

Javier Riera

Javier Riera, 011-Present. Landscape intervention / Photography [photography] At: (Accessed 18/12/2019).

Malcolm Le Grice

Helen Maurer

Installation view: re Composing 2016 at Danielle Arnaud. Photo by Oskar Proctor [installation] At: (Accessed 18/12/2019).

Maurer’s work is shaped by regular visits to charity shops, collecting old furniture, objects and glassware to include in installations that are transformed in some way by light, movement and sound. Ideas are developed through experimentation, by projecting light through glass to create shadows for example. Danielle Arnaud, Helen Maurer At: (Accessed 18/12/2019).

Lee Kit

Lee Kit, Hey (the lasting care) (2016). Exhibition view: Hold your breath, dance slowly, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (12 May–9 October 2016). Courtesy the artist and Jane Lombard Gallery, NY. [installation] At: (Accessed 18/12/2019).

At Walker Art Center, the installation Hey (the lasting care) (2016) consisted of a looped video of closely cropped, pale, grey-blue hands and feet projected onto a wall, onto which a piece of plywood painted in glossy, transparent paint was also hung. To the right of the projection lay a carpet, its left side falling beneath the bottom-right side of the projection; beside this, a small paper painting depicted a smaller close-up of hands touching feet with the word 'Hey' inscribed beneath. Ocula Lee Kit, In Conversation with Atsuo Yasuda (Tokyo, 19 October 2018) At: (Accessed 18/12/2019).

Mona Hatoum

TATE, Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance (1988) Video, projection, colour and sound (mono) [video] At: (Accessed 19/12/2019).

Measures of Distance is an uncharacteristically autobiographical work which, Hatoum has said, speaks of displacement, disorientation and a tremendous sense of loss as a result of the separation caused by war. Hatoum was born to Palestinian parents living in exile in Beirut. In 1975, while visiting London, Hatoum herself became an exile; war broke out in Lebanon and Hatoum stayed in England. In this video, the artist overlaid footage of her mother with scrolling Arabic script—the text of letters Hatoum's mother wrote to her from Beirut, which the artist reads aloud in English. This sound track is interspersed with candid dialogues between mother and daughter. MOMA Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance (1988) At: (Accessed 19/12/2019).

Pipilotti Rist

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Reflection on Tutor Report

Thank you so much for your constructive feedback. «You have demonstrated a consistent and effective command of materials throughout the course and shown good technical and creative skills» (OCA Tutor)


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