Sensual charades of the plant and body, terseness of minimalism, baroque spectacle and the gloss of the mass culture are fused into one artistic method. HSE Art Gallery presents a project by Katya Pravda, who’s earned recognition for her photos shot on mobile phone. Especially for Ars Electronica, the artist created an interactive digital space of her garden castle, filled with digital sculptures, videos, and photos.
Katya Pravda’s art is viewer-oriented, it’s democratic. The parts this art is made of are a pleasure in themselves — flower petals, branches, stones, vegetables, mushrooms. But then vigorous intraframe editing jumps in the form of fake eyelash glue. The familiar is fading, giving way to the unknown. The plants have become a confidant for Katya, who grew up surrounded by gardens, flowers and trees, animals and houses with doors never locked. We all remember making “manicures” out of daisy petals, fake eyelashes from bluebells, glass “secrets” buried in the ground and that feeling of a kid looking intensely into nature, into the countryside, into the forest. Like a child who is making soup out of sand and water, easily giving superior fantasy properties to mundane objects, Katya also finds simple yet unexpected visual combinations, designing her own voice.
There is also a place to talk about the dark side of this voice and these combinations. Just like Jung’s Shadow, the one we should embrace instead of running from it, the shadow of our frivolous dreams of uniting with nature depicted in Katya’s work, give them [a]power and scale. Dark ecology — the niche branch of popular psychology — suggests that we accepted the fluidity and unrestrained quality of nature as the base of any relations. This is an attempt to look at nature from a different angle. An attempt to allow the variability of interpretations of nature’s forces. An attempt to give every natural element agency, ability to influence us, evoke terror, acceptance or awe. It is an attempt for us to summon enough courage to realise: the world is constantly moving. And we are not at the center of this movement.
Katya Pravda (RU), Anna Novikova (RU), Yulia Yousma (RU), Alexey Ryumin (RU)