Artist Statement

My works share both the basic act of collecting, particularly collecting everyday items that are ordinarily ignored and remain unnoticed, and disruption, meaning the modification of the status of these items in culture and in collective memory. I apply this practice to different cultures and subject matters.  For instance, in Brothers I collected cats that had been run over and built a monument of their embalmed corpses, causing a disruption of the landscape. In The Pink Death, several dozen death scenes of gay characters from television were collected and put together in a new television sequence.

In my work, disruption is occasionally realized through the juxtaposition of artifacts from different sources by means of assemblage or other methods (for example, cyanotype prints on textiles). The act of assembling found objects brings their cultural context to a new space that contradicts the traditional laws of spatial alignment.

My interest in settler cultures too, involves everyday items. These groups are invested, on the one hand, in a specific living activity aimed at shifting from one communal organization to another, from an old historical state to a new one, and, on the other hand, they produce a set of shared images, which is based primarily on artifacts: clothes, tools, furniture, and crafts. Over time, the events and actions turn into myths, and the artifacts become symbols that attract sentimentality and patriotism. In my art, I make an effort to see through the distance between past and present, and to free the objects and human experiences from the suffocating embrace of collective memory.

My exploration of settler cultures draws me to techniques of craft and folk art: textile art, embroidery, carpentry, ropework, and so on, as can be seen, for example, in Moth. These artistic mediums are traditionally associated with rural practices that are not considered legitimate art or may be referred to as outsider art.

In most of my work, I identify with various minority groups that are denied the privilege of speech. Such is the group of dead gay characters in The Pink Death, and the hard-working women and men who embroidered, weaved, built, and welded, and eventually were forgotten. I sometimes adopt a child-like point of view. This allows me to distance myself from the ordinary social network of the world of phenomena, and constitutes an innocent primal state of mind. In this respect, the "disruption" aspect of my art is not applied to a natural world, but rather to an initially fixed one, a world constantly shaped and marked by a violent apparatus of normative “adult” forces.

Animals are an important motif in my work. Like certain human population groups, they endure cruelty and exploitation, which have already become an industrialized tradition, and are unable to tell their story, protect their own dignity, or rebel. I identify with their inability to speak. It helps me to document the malice and indifference that I find in human behavior, and to search for ways of healing.

My occupation with questions of memory, culture, and history is rooted in the contrast between the experience of the individual and the abstract system of images, memories, narratives, and ceremonies in which he lives. The distinction is not always clear, but the tension between the two poles is concrete and familiar, and is apparent between, for example, personal and collective memory, private and public space, and the voice of a single person and the voice of his generation. What interest me are the cultural and identity components that form this tension and the violence that it produces.

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