IF YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN
On view from 06.04. - 06.05 2023
Dorobanți 202, District 1, Bucharest
Anna Khodorkovskaya’s solo show features an engaging display of visual journals, taking the form of daily self-portraits, text-based and abstract mosaics, as well as an interactive installation that invites visitors to explore the endless potential of language. In a colourful and sometimes playful manner, the exhibition initiates a conversation about language as a social and cultural game or a precondition for thoughts, knowledge, and negotiation of meaning. IF YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN, the title, exemplifies the interplay between language and visual language, as well as this negotiability between the speaker and the listener, or in this instance, between the artwork being viewed and the viewer that creates a sense in the light of their own knowledge, experience, and context.
IF YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN reflections on language and meaning while creating a visual conversation between text and abstract forms. Anna’s text-based works consist of fragments and debris of words and phrases taken from various contexts. These fragments could be a result of a conversation, a thought, a book, or even something picked up from the media and extracted from their original context. Deconstructing them phrase by phrase, we can identify ways in which they might be reinterpreted, revised, or challenged. By being reduced to individual words, punctuation marks, and prepositions, the artist seeks to maximize the expressive potential of language by minimising it. Pieces such as SHUT UP / SPEAK or GO AWAY / STAY hint at dichotomies to underline how we often comprehend concepts through their opposites while also serving as a thought-provoking exploration of contradictions that we commonly face during social and personal decision-making processes. There is also the opposition between the medium used, glass stone, and language as a symbolic system. We are drowned in materiality as we experience the world through it, but we are using language to understand it. Hinting at the fluidity of materiality, the shapes and forms of abstract mosaics are seamlessly merged in the artist's latest works on canvas. The contrast and each medium individuality become clear while effortlessly continuing and completing each other.
'ONE ANNA A DAY', the watercolour series, started in 2021 and since then has since been evolving into a visual journal chronicling different states, moods, and attitudes. In contrast to meticulously planned mosaics, these works on paper exude an air of spontaneity. Some portraits are associated with a statement that can be decoded as either being projected onto Anna or reflecting her internal state, all of which are drawn from genuine conversations and interactions. The purpose of the portrait extends beyond mere self-expression; it serves as a bridge between Anna and the world. By actively engaging with others and remaining immersed in her surroundings, Anna's work advocates for empathy and a sense of consideration.
The series features a variety of portraits, ranging from single to double and from close-ups of faces to full-body compositions. Despite the diversity, all portraits share a common trait: a direct gaze towards the viewer. Even when conveying fragility, uncertainty, or confusion, the subjects are depicted with a sense of firmness, grounded and unwavering posture, echoing a sense of determination and grit. The ONE ANNA A DAY watercolour series in the exhibition stands in contrast with the meticulously curated mosaic section. Rather than a select few, the series is presented with plenty of emotions and thoughts. Joining this realm, the viewer is invited to explore the progression of days, which gradually evolve into years, each documented and materialized into a map of self in relation to the world.
As you wander through the exhibition, you'll encounter a path that oscillates between sense and senseless, creating sense and losing it again, all at a slow pace, a timeless working process, as the one experienced by the artist creating each piece tile by tile or day by day. There are to be found a variety of viewpoints, choices, and methods for decrypting the world, both individually and as a collective.