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Curatorial text of Lizaveta Matveeva about Frozen exhibition

17 January 2019

The Sasha Zubritskaya’s project Frozen is a series of objects documenting traces of a locked affect. Working with the artist at the exhibition, I thought of Sasha’s objects as documentation of meetings with the desire, pulled out of time and space, but a conversation with my friend and colleague Natalia Shapkina gave me a more precise wording – a seizure of daily life. In the meeting an equal meets an equal. Relations that develop between Sasha and the material of her artistic research are in the nature of subject-objective – the author interacts with the environment, snatches out individual episodes, transforms them, transfers them into the exhibition space, and thus, prevents fr om entering into a new subjective frame.

Georges Didi-Huberman writes in his famous philosophical parable “Ce que nous voyons ce qui nous regarde” (What you see is what looks at you): “What we see carry weight – exists – in our eyes only due to the fact that it looks at us”. A plastic box with lighters, lathing, a huge hourglass, a key borrowed from putti, a fountain behind fences – are a number of images that we may encounter in daily life but we hardly pay attention to them, in the Sasha’s project they are transformed into physical volumes filled with emptiness of meanings. It is important to note that the project Frozen is her first experience with three-dimensional objects of such a scale. Here she leaves from her usual media videos and photos, but retains the very principle of photographing. Snatched situations, on the one hand, retain their realism, on the other hand, they are subjective and incur to artistic manipulations. How the artist frames the founded situations, creates circumstances for the experience of looking at a completely different order. A viewer asking questions about the identification of her works (are they sculptures or objects or ready-mades?) is involved in that very game of interpretation and ambiguity. We become participants of intersubjective relations with the art – the artist “disturbs the vision” of her audience.

Sasha’s project is a place of shortage, wh ere desire is exacerbated by unattainability and is caught up – frozen – in its manifestation. The aforementioned emptiness of meanings, formed in objects, arise following the logic of loss, which looks at us, pursues us. The desired is not possible to touch nearby, it can only be seen from afar. The artist assigns these obsessive images, means them. Sasha’s works are different signs of the one signifier, indicating the absence of Thing. She visualizes traces of the locked affect, without using the language directly, and creates a field for the further game of the viewer. The presence that Didi-Huberman writes about minimalists and whiсh Frank Stella explains as “a different way to talk” is a paramount importance in Sasha’s project. The presence of the images in the new environment, the presence of works, the viewer’s presence: invisible is endowed with visibility and importance, comes to the fore, what is usually blocked becomes frozen and exalted.

Lizaveta Matveeva

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