I am an artist and researcher born in Russia and living in the UK. My works are related to issues of gender, sexuality and ways of transgressing from them, as well as to various approaches to non-Western cultures within the Western cultural paradigm. In my works I use a mixed technique on paper with lithography methods, which allows me to incorporate historical representation of people whose appearance does not confirm to social ideas on femininity and masculinity. My project presented at the international festival “Open Art” allows me to give the viewer an opportunity to flip through a book where history and its oblivion are intertwined, yet the hope of reuniting the connection between the past and the present is still glimmering. Written in the artistic language of painting, the Green Book is a kind of archive, the purpose of which is not only to resist the erasure of gender diversity from history, but also to take responsibility for our future.
The project is a visualization of problems of self-understanding, search for oneself and self-acceptance, difficulties of self-presentation and overcoming external pressure in a homophobic environment.
Kirill Slobodyanyuk, Moscow.
I explore myself, my feelings through painting. When I paint, I examine my attitude to the object, to the moment that I have lived or live. I paint the men I know, I paint the man I love, the people who struck my nerve. In my work I intermingle shades of what is happening inside and around and undoubtedly excites me: betrayal, emotional closeness, intimacy, chemical sex – things that happen all the time, therefore, almost imperceptibly. I like to paint people lying down: when a person lies, they feel differently. Usually it happens like this: suddenly I see a harmonious combination the depth of the moment and the beauty of the composition, I capture it, and then paint a picture and thus explore the moment. For me, this is both therapy and meditation.
In her paintings, Asya Sergievskaya explores the sexuality and attractiveness of women’s body from the perspective of a lesbian. A female body is exposed by the artist in a classical way of art and nude photography, but she uses bright, intense colors, tight brushstrokes and an expressive play with light and shadow demonstrating both, differences and similarities, in the view on the beauty of the human body typical for hetero- and homosexual relationships.
The author literally demolishes the imaginations of people unfamiliar with LGBT relationships, who assume that lesbians always are manlike or that they just had no success in their relationships with men and subconsciously continue to look for masculine traits in their female partners. Asya shows us in her art the truth: that a woman can love her body and love another woman without imposing masculine traits on her. For many people, it is difficult to accept this truth, which is why the artist gives an impulse to our feelings, to help us feel that things can be different.
The artist encourages us to put logic aside and not to analyze other people’s preferences based only on our own experience and the labels we put on others. Just look at these paintings and accept this different point of view as a given fact and as an opportunity to widen your understanding of beauty.
Marie So, a through and through creative person.
For me, art is an opportunity to immerse myself in my own world, opening up different facets of my personality, leaving my world view in the paintings. Like any artist in search, I love experiments thus I will present a small series of cartoons that reflect the illusions of a person living in the modern world. (Это краткий вариант, далее продолжение для сайта).
The era of consumption, the world of modern technology is imposing on us a heap of false values. It advertises goods not needed by most people, creates trends, public opinions, dictates fashion, deflecting or sifting out all disagreeeres. It is the easiest way to control the masses, distracting people from the most important thing – themselves. Immersed in the illusions of imposed opinions, a person becomes stereotyped and loses the ability to think for himself or herself. However, I believe that people are smart, that even in the abundance of information, everyone can escape and find his place. And sometimes just need a look from the outside is what you need to make it happen.
Maria Muzalevskaya is a Russian documentary photographer whose work explores the social political issues and personal stories.
Born in Russia in 1990, she got her master’s degree in Boston University with the major in International Relations. She has recently finished her Documentary and Visual Journalism program at International School of Photography. Her ongoing project is about political refugees in Russia who fled their homeland because of political, social and religious unfreedom. Her work was published on such media platforms as afisha.ru, colta.ru, FAYN magazine, Voice of America, pravoslavie.ru. Her project, ‘fifth wave’ was recently exhibited in Soho Photo Gallery in New York, NY.
is project comprised of environmental portraits Russian LGBT immigrants who fled Russia for political and social freedom after 2012, when Vladimir Putin reclaimed power. Unlike some other recent upsurges of immigration, these Russian immigrants represent a new type of emigrant who have fled their homeland in search of political and social freedom: young, educated, and with no post-Soviet nostalgia.
The project also covers stories of LGBT immigrants who escaped discrimination, stigmatization, and life-threatening conditions.
According to a report from the Atlantic Council, 1.6 to 2 million Russians have left for the western democracies since Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency. In that time, the Russian parliament introduced new proposals to accelerate the crackdown on the LGBT community by providing the authority to terminate the parental rights of individuals raising children with same-sex partners. And just last year, a new wave of gay persecution marked by detainment, harassment, and murder began in Chechnya.
This work gives participants a chance to talk openly about what remained for many years hidden.