participatory art, performance, installation, photography
2017 - MFA (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent)
2016 - BFA (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent)
2011 - LLM (Moscow State Law Academy, Moscow)
2017 - Performance, The Marriage: Marriagecontract. HOOGTIJ/laagtij. Gouvernement - Vooruit Ghent (BE)
2017 - Exhibition, We Are Happy When We Make This. Museum Dr. Guislain, Creabar, Bij De Vieze Gasten, Treck, Ghent (BE)
2017 - Performance, The Marriage: Proposal. Croxhapox; Gent (BE)
2016 - Performance, Why did I move to Belgium. STUK Leuven (BE)
2016 - Performance, Bifurcation point. Heart Shaped Opinions. Arne&Vinie Galerie; Ghent (BE)
2016 - Installation, Mind The Bike. maydaymayday festival, CAMPO Ghent (BE)
2014 - Group exhibition, Orange Kingdom, State Art Exhibition Space 'Na Kashirke', Moscow (RU)
2017 - Creative assistant to David Helbich, festival Rainy Days in Luxemburg (LU)
2016 - Guest lecturer, School of Arts; Antwerpen (BE)
2015-present - Volunteer Artist in Psychiatric Center Dr. Guislain, Ghent (BE)
2015 - Performer, Glitter Bending Octopus. Marcos Simoes & Sara Manente (BE)
2014 - 1st prize in photography context "Orange Kingdom", Moscow (RU)
2014 - Editors Pick, lensculture Portrait Photography Award
Biography, personal and artist statements
Biography, personal and artist statements
I was born in the Soviet Union two years prior to its collapse. My parents were simple Soviet citizens then. My father was working in a sanatorium as a masseur. His greatest dream was to drive a train but he is visually handicapped. He even managed to pass the medical commission for train drivers but his mother — my grandmother — found out, took him away and brought to masseur’s training. My mom was a beautiful and highly intelligent young woman with two higher educations — engineering and ecology. Although, as long as I know her she didn’t use that knowledge and was occupied an outreach social worker. Long story short, they met in that sanatorium and that’s how it all began.
I was born in September, nine months after the big public holiday — New Year ‘89. Five years later my sister also saw the light of day.
My mom taught me how to read when I was 5 years old and I’ve read all the illustrated books we had at home. These were fauna encyclopedias with the scariest book I’ve ever seen — Volume I. Worms. She also took me to educational courses, where she had to choose where to put me in: classes of English or classes of sculpturing. She chose for the first one but I used to ran away in favor of the class with clay. And they used to bring me back to the English class.
During my school years, I was somewhere in between an outrageous rebel and the best pupil. I’ve been a goth, wrote dark-tinted poetry, had a doom metal band where I sang, I tried alcohol, discovered that I like girls not less than boys and all in all had quite intense and revealing period. These intensities and revealings stayed with me forever after for I could never stop thinking, analyzing and trying to feel everything I go through as deep it is only possible.
Having graduated from school with a silver medal (they give the best pupils silver and gold medals in Russia) I entered the best academy of law in the post-Soviet area. My boyfriend at the time was also studying there and he told me that getting a degree in law is a certain way to get out of Russia and move to Europe. Soon we broke up but I’ve finished my studies, received the diploma with honors and only then realized it’s not that easy to move to a foreign country if you are a lawyer. During the academy years I remained somewhat controversial: I didn’t have many friends, didn’t consider most of my groupmates interesting, wasn’t afraid to oppose to docents if I didn’t agree with them, began to experiment with light and easy-to-get drugs (thanks to my new crush), began to learn playing solo guitar, travel, photograph, deepened my interest in poetry (thanks to another crush) and yet continued to be a well-advanced student.
After graduating I decided to continue with postgraduate studies because our academy has a good relationship with Erasmus University in Rotterdam. I could go there as an exchange student and maybe — who knows — find a way to move from Russia. That didn’t happen, though. But in that period in the Netherlands, I found myself being in love with a city of Ghent, a hidden pearl amidst Central Europe. I was told about the Royal Academy of Arts and thought that this could be a chance to kill two birds with one stone: to move and to commit myself to something I’ve always been passionate about, the art. So I arrived in Belgium to take the entrance examinations at the School of Arts with my broken Dutch. I chose to study photography because that was something I thought I had some experience with. I’ve passed. After long three months of bureaucracy, I was there, in the new country, happy and lonely. After completing the second year in the department of photography I realized that one medium is a big limitation for me. I’ve always liked working with anything that was at hand: texts, objects, sounds etc. The third year I’ve started working in another department called ‘Autonomous Design’ where I was enabled to use any mediums I need.
During all these years I’ve met many wonderful people and made some friends to whom I am greatly indebted for being with me, supporting me, helping me, talking to me or sometimes simply saving breath together with me.
In my short life, I got a chance to work as a billsticker, beggar, investigator’s assistant, content manager, account manager, project manager, secretary of a plenipotentiary minister, cutter-postprint worker, shop clerk… Currently, I try to make a living by giving lessons of Russian as a foreign language, excursions in Ghent and in Bruges, by translating computer games and by taking photography assignments. As a hobby, I write articles about Flemish poetry for Russian magazine ‘Literratura’ and create various publications for another Russian magazine ‘discours.io’, which includes video interview series called ‘human/artist’. In future, I hope to be able to dedicate all my time to the art projects.
There are some major topics that intrigue me. And there are some social problems I find personally frustrating. What I want to do as an artist is to try to solve those problems using the knowledge from my fields of interest.
I strive to know how a human mind works. The theory of perception, the psychiatry and psychology, the social mind and the mind of an individual are among the topics I can speak about for hours. Are people essentially able to understand each other? Is it possible to wear someone else's shoes? And if one can try these other person's shoes what will the consequences be?
Generalizations are evil. I like to talk about big problems of society. Yet it's easier to activate one's imagination, persuade them when showing a particular example. The more specific example is, the tighter connection is established. I am in a rather weak position in the surrounding world. I live in a foreign country with only a student residence permit. If I don't find another way to stay where I want to, I'll have to go back even against my own will. I am a bisexual woman seeing nothing special in sexual intercourse and adding no special value to it, therefore, read it as 'free love' adherent. I believe every person should have the right to decide what to do with their own life, health and destiny, even if it is a decision to hook up on heroin; as long as this decision doesn't violate others' rights and freedoms. I do not like money and would prefer not to be paid if I only had enough food and materials to work with. I am diagnosed with depression and I manage to move on with it while it still means just 'being sad or tired' for many others.
There's no 'right' way to make the world a better place. What I like to think I am doing is making those around me aware of a simple fact that we are all different and it is beautiful this way.
The core idea of my artistic research is: "Words are of least help when we try to communicate to others. The vast majority of the problems within the humanity rise from the inability to look at the world with someone else’s eyes".
I explore an inward habit of a person, anatomize its sophistication, feelings, and emotions, irrationality and fears and create complex installations meant to evoke empathy in the viewer. Sometimes the installations get activated by a performance where I try to twist the created work and give it extra meaning. I attempt to push the observers out of their comfort zone by setting them in a dark space, disorienting by sounds, smells and changes in that space. All that to force the visitor to look and see differently.
Another distinct feature of my works is almost painful obsession with topics that are often hushed up, such as fear of death, fragility, freedom of sexual relationship and global immigration, which I strive to aestheticize.
For commissions, inquiries, and any other questions feel free to contact me via this form.