Fragment Gallery is proud to present Transverse Hyperspace, the debut solo exhibition of Sofya Skidan, curated by Alexander Burenkov. A recent graduate of Moscow’s Rodchenko School of Multimedia and Photography as well as a professional yoga instructor, the artist works with a specific selection of materials, techniques and subjects to forge a relationship between Eastern spiritual practices and modern critical theory. Tapping into the complexities of postmodernity, Skidan raises questions around updated understandings of identity within today’s technogenic culture, as well as the crisis of nature and the fast-approaching environmental tipping point in the age of the anthropocene — conditions that theorist McKenzie Wark has called a “metabolic rift”, to borrow a coinage from John Bellamy Foster.
The starting point for the new works presented within the exhibition was the artist’s reflections on how the ways of thinking, the work of memory, and the perception of temporality, the body and identity have changed in the era of circulation and the continuous production of information. Inspired by the ideas of Donna Haraway, Eugene Thacker, Timothy Morton and Rosi Braidotti, Skidan attempts to set up a laboratory study of a new kind of physicality that seeks to erase gender boundaries and the alienation of the virtual body from its physical carrier. The artist harnesses representations of sexuality as a means of eradicating identity and the projection of a unified structural memory. The artist builds her video works through the medium of live broadcasts and “stories.” This tactic constantly reinscribes her within the digital landscape of the social network Instagram, thus alienating her from her physical body and generating a new image of sexuality, while at the same time uncovering the potential for interaction between several body-avatars, freed from a defined gender identity and engaged in new processes of self-knowledge.
Organized as the dimly-lit transit space of a laboratory, the exhibition restages selected aspects of the transitional state of culture on the way to the dystopian world of the future (“the world without us”), with the help of recovered artifact-ruins and landmarks that could be used as triggers for the recovery mechanisms of memory. Skidan pieces together the landscape of this forthcoming world from the scraps of information left behind after unknown events, supplemented by video installations and objects. In doing so, she offers new strategies for orientation in space, the constant reinscription of one’s self within the digital landscape and the various means of sensory perception, with the help of olfactory installations (drawing on aroma as a potent catalyst for personal memories), haptic and photosculpture, immersive video environments, and a suit designed as the uniform of the stalkers who will inhabit the earth in its near post-human future. One of the key works of the exhibition — a series of photosculptures bearing distorted images of natural landscapes — is offered up like the ruins of the digital environment, the speculative memories of the artificial intelligence of the future recalling the “lost paradise” of the nature of the past.
The exhibition will be accompanied by collective yoga sessions, combined with lectures on dark ecology and posthumanism, and performances by guest lecturers and artists, in keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the creative and curatorial approaches.
Sofya Skidan (was born in 1996, Ukhta, Republic of Komi).
The Artist. She graduate of the Rodchenko school of multimedia and photography, currently Skidan studying at St.Petersburg State University of Film and Television. She implemented personal projects: “Metaphysics of landscape”, Moscow, 2015; “Dynamic pieces”, Moscow, 2016; “The history of art in 9 parts. Part 0.3”, Vienna photo-book festival, 2016, “Do you want to find your CHOMMAA?” Unseen photo-book festival, 2017. In 2014-2016 Sofya participated in several group exhibitions: “Dietary exhibition”, Nizhny Novgorod; “Assemblage”, Moscow; “Made in Moscow”, Moscow; “Reverse lookup”, Moscow; “Rodchenko Art School. 10 Years”, Moscow; “Inside art”, Moscow; “Level 8” Winzavod. She took part in workshops of Hannes Vanderer, Der grief, Spector groups.
Lives and works in Moscow.
Alexander Burenkov (born in 1987, Leningrad)
Curator, art director, chief specialist of the Directorate for regional development of the NCCA as the part of the of ROSIZO. He graduated from St. Petersburg state University and the Institute of contemporary art. Burenkov is the curator of the Foundation for the development of the contemporary culture V-A-C (2014-2016) and the gallery ISSMAG (2016-2017). He is a laureate of the state prize in the field of contemporary art “Innovation” (2017) in the “Curator of the year” nomination for the project “Planned obsolescence” in the framework of the parallel program of the V Moscow international Biennale for young art. He is the member of the expert council of the VI Moscow international Biennale for young art (2018).
Among the selected exhibition projects: Egor Kraft’s solo exhibition “Now is just right now”(together with Anna Zhurba, Taiga space, St. Petersburg, 2012), exhibition and conference on the future of reading “Books in the air” (together with Yulia Rudenko, Institute of media, architecture and design “Strelka”, Moscow, 2013), group international exhibition “Work club” (office space on the Lubyanka, Moscow, 2013), group international exhibition “Planned obsolescence” (fitness club, Moscow, Miltronic as part of the parallel program of the V Moscow international Biennale for young art, 2016), personal exhibition of Sasha Manica “New soul” (gallery ISSMAG Moscow, 2017), a solo exhibition of Elizabeth Chuhlantseva “You’re like a young me, only better” (gallery ISSMAG Moscow, 2017), the personal exhibition of Daria Melnikova “Yesterday is the new tomorrow” (gallery ISSMAG Moscow, 2017), a solo exhibition of Jura Shust “Baptism of fire” (gallery ISSMAG Moscow, 2017), a solo exhibition of Arnold Trautveyn “Stories about order 2. Chronicles the dubious fads” (gallery ISSMAG Moscow, 2017), group international exhibition of video art “CITIZENSFIVE” (in the framework of the Art Athina fair, Athens, 2017), the exhibition about the history of the oldest biennials of the modern art “Shiryaevskaya Biennale. Central Russian Zen” (together with Roman Korzhov and Nel Korzhov, the State center for contemporary art, Moscow, 2017), a group exhibition of projects of nominees for the state prize in the field of contemporary art “Innovation” (Russian state library, Moscow and online www.2018.artinnovation.ru). Lives and works in Moscow.