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Natalia Zaloznaya

24 January — 26 February 2017
19 11.12 Gallery

Natalia Zaloznaya

The symbolic dictionary of the project by Natalia Zaloznaya "Escape" contains several metaphors that can not be avoided when interacting with it. Of course, there is a great temptation to emphasize the aesthetic form of the "Escape" project, but its ontological context seems no less interesting and important. What is meant here?

In Gilles Deleuze we find a categorical statement about the creativity of art: "Art is not communicative, art is not reflexive. Art, science, philosophy are not contemplative, not reflexive, not communicative. They are creative, and the point. " Here he deduces art fr om the sphere of communication, reflection and contemplation: that is, the practitioner initiated by the question - "what does this mean?". Deleuze asserts the superiority of the act of creation in art over the acts of its significant functioning in specific socio-historical contexts. Perhaps, Deleuze's statement has already been partially historized in relation to what happens to the images of art in the modern media environment. But nevertheless, it preserves this energy of the question to the intention of art "to be in this world," which can not be ignored.


If we take this position to the project "Escape" by Natalia Zaloznaya, we can come to the understanding that the visual images of the project should and can be viewed not only fr om the point of view of what they tell us, but also in terms of what reality through this message they create.

In the construction of this reality, there is one link, about which the author informs us: part of the work is done on the basis of documentary photographs. This is an important point in the correlation of the project with what we define as reality (happened) on the one hand, and on the other hand it is the challenge of reality itself in questions - "what happened? what's happening?". Here it is necessary to clarify - the reality, which is confirmed by documentary photography in the effort with which it pretends to the utmost statement about it in a visual image. We know that the Reality has many pretenders to its representation in our symbolic world. But in the art world, each applicant is unique and lonely in his attempt to connect with reality through its creation. (A working artist in art is not so much looking for allies, as captured by the passion for creating new ties.)


When we look at the sleeping person, we probably should feel some confusion and excitement fr om the fact that we are in a situation wh ere we do not know exactly wh ere the sleeper is. He is present for us in his realistic visual materiality and at the same time absent - because we are not for him in his world. That is, the question is - how can the ability to be visible during one's own sleep change the very structure of the reality of what is happening? The sleeper is included in the world through unconscious isolation from him. Then, in itself, it symbolizes the abandonment of the world, its fatal abandonment and anxious transformation into a dream that does not belong to anyone. After all, the dream metaphor is a metaform of the other world.

Here, perhaps, it will be appropriate to look at the sleeper as a person who "lost" consciousness, suddenly fell out of the forced circulation of his socio-historical place. In the works of Natalia Zaloznaya you feel that the dream overtook her characters unawares, at the moment of this experience we find out how helpless they are before his sudden action. This may be a clue that in reality there was a kind of radical event, which itself was canceled in the form of its realization. We can judge this proto-event only by these "unconscious" visual sculptures that experienced a mysterious event shift and placed them on the border between "living and dead."

The escape.

In this reality, any real Escape to be realized must cross the border of the "living and the dead", the point wh ere the connection between the illusory and the real that underlies the "sleep" of our semi-conscious existence breaks down. The movement of the images of the project takes place in the direction of this boundary, but we perceive this movement visually as stationary. Motionless motion. How is this possible? And why is it possible?

Maybe because this is the only real scenario of escape in conditions "dictated by reality, when a person, regardless of his personal convictions, is forced to act in accordance with the laws of this reality"? (quote from N. Zaloznaya). That is, motionless motion is the only possible movement in conditions of impossibility of escape. Here it is necessary to pay attention to one important intuition, with which, apparently, the author works: shoots are possible, Escape is impossible. In general, the story of escape is one of the most popular cultural themes precisely because it poses the question of the reality of what is happening (what does this mean?) Simultaneously with the question of this reality (what really happens?).

Playing cards.

We know that, among other things, playing cards are a transformed form of impersonal forces. They refer to a level of reality in which our personal self appears at the intersection of the fatal and accidental. The visual structure of the maps already in itself is a message about the splitting of the I, or even more precisely - about the need for this splitting in order for fatal and accidental to create an impersonal effect. The impersonal already exists in the portrait of the sleeping: they are perceptibly deindividualized by the picturesque technique that creates the effect of a bright face-spot. The law of the impersonal is an action without coordination, an action, participation in which can not be ignored, it surrounds you and reflects in yourself. As you do not turn the "map" of your Self, you will always find an ambivalent splitting of yourself within this impersonal action.

What is this action? - For example, war.

Action of art.

By themselves, these disturbing scenes implicitly contain some question that the author of the project designs, gropes. But in order to hear it, we must formulate our own: how does the author act in his study of "escape"? The answer can be and such: the author returns these scenes that they were repeated. Once they were created by a specific socio-historical reality of war and photographed. Now they are reincarnated in the present through an artistic symbolic transformation that frees them from the historical documentary time and place. But for what?

It is possible that through the symbolic doubling of the dream scene in the trenches, on the apron of the metro, which is used as a bomb shelter, etc., to transform from fragments of reality into a visual-material emblem that consolidates the logic of origin and disintegration of this reality. And repetition here constructs a trap for the possibility of our perception of an elusive event, the task of comprehension of which must be constantly reproduced in the form of a question about it and to it.

In other words, the actions of the author of the project are rather connected not with the search for an exact answer, but with concern for the revival of the question, for its relentless repetition. The question of the possibility of realizing what is happening in a fatal situation, and at the same time about the possibility of free volitional action in a situation of fatality. Actually, the very activity of the artist Natalia Zaloznaya in this project is an attempt to realize the possibility of such an action.

Dmitry Korol