installation (fabric, wood)
Two years ago, I lived in a shared apartment. The second room was occupied by an old homeless person. He used to be a scientist, but then something happened to him and he had gone mad, lost his family and began drinking heavily. He had an apartment, but no means to support himself, so he would search for food in a dump and cook it in the kitchen. I gave him food occasionally. Sometime later, at Christmas, he died. He used to always lock his room but that day the door to his room was open. I found him dead, surrounded by thousands of things – a lot of cabinets, sofas, shelves, a refrigerator, a gas stove, two tables, lots of dishes, books, clothes, old notebooks, and countless shoes ... After the doctors, the police and the 'meat wagon' had left, I went to the landing and found his coat, a walking stick, a backpack, and a bag with empty cans. It was at that very moment I felt terrified with what remains of a person after his or her death. Tons of unnecessary things! Things that we are saving all our lives, so often forgetting about the real values. We burn, leaving ash and lots of bills, checks and documents behind.
With my installation, I tried to recreate a burned room. Only a flickering lamp reminds the viewer of a possible life – everything else here is dead. The labels of old furniture (mostly from the eighties) are hung up in the air: a wardrobe, a table, chairs, a bed, a clock, bedding, etc. This way, I'm trying to reconstruct the interior of the shared apartment that burned a long time ago and where now nobody lives ...
''In visual or semantic conversations and contexts, disappearance is a phenomenon that ripples through all the world’s cultures. Its depictions are hinted at in the paintings of Velázquez and the masters of the Northern Renaissance, before taking form in the work of Magritte, then picking up a certain radicality in the strategies of Conceptualism. The motif of disappearance as both a traumatic void, but also a means of bridging a gap in time – the existential paradigm of “in between” – is fully explored within the intimate dramas of the work of Olya Kroytor. Understanding the surrounding reality as a kind of supra-state, filled with gravitational pull, the artist experiences the irresistible urge not only to find an image of repressive forces and fix it, but also to uncover within herself the ability to set up a nonlinear balance in this scenario of reverse perspective, through her dream-like forms. This ongoing dialogue allows Kroytor to open her own unique chapter in the history of the “empty” pause – disappearance. Within the coordinates marked out by theanticipation of a future event after the loss of the past, the phenomenon of disappearance cannot be separated from the visual machinations of quantum mechanics, the transition from the discrete image to the image-in-flux, where welose any sense of the position of the observer and his location. Kroytor’s visual perspective in this situation approachesthe same paradoxes of space that helped influence the birth of non-Euclidean geometry and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The universal scientific and figurative paradigms come into focus in the personal optical philosophy of theartist, flowing through the prism with the “lost” numerical sequences of Daniil Kharms and the disappearance of whole nations in the postmodern commentaries of Milorad Pavić’s Dictionary of the Khazars.
“What was here before us?” The artist asks, eyeing the burnt-down human habitat, the site of an indisputable catastrophe. Kroytor’s Burnt Room conjures up the traditional interiors of creative spaces of the European avant-garde– imitating epitomes of 20th century Modernist pathos, like the studio of Piet Mondrian, El Lissitzky’s “Proun Room,” or even the Mertzbau, sculpted from garbage by Kurt Schwitters – which are then set in contrast against the existential state of their tragic devastation. In this sense, Kroytor’s post-historic representation of the human habitat forges adialogue with Ilya Kabakov’s Toilet.
Within the artist’s reduced coordinates, there is no longer an objective world, just the present in its extreme proximity, lost “between” the myths of the past and future. Old slides start to slowly melt and fester, forming a fabric of disappearance. The gaps in the “slumbering” entropy of the slides offer glimpses of a new beginning, suggesting the opening of new dimensions. The contemporary visual and philosophical models can help us recognize the processes in which we participate, and, in this awareness, we are able to propose exits to the eternal existentialist values.''
Vitaly Patsyukov / Head of Interdisciplinary Programs at the State Center for Contemporary Art/
Образ сгоревшей комнаты в инсталляции Ольги Кройтор несет в себе тему утраты и одновременно открывает феномен неизбывности жизни. В
топографии пространства, обозначенного творческими измерениями художницы, отчетливо проступают смыслы и ценности нашего бытия, его
незащищенность и хрупкость. Переживая катастрофу, пространство комнаты сохраняет свою геометрию, подтверждая устойчивость координат
человеческого существования. Взаимоотношения вертикалей и горизонталей, целостность и точность пропорций их гармонических рядов
подтверждают матричное строение реальности, обители нашего присутствия в мире, указывая на эволюционный вектор, требующий следующей глубоко личной фазы экзистенциальных форм. Тело комнаты обожжено, оно меняет свой цвет, свою энергию, темнеет, оплотняя органической фактурой поверхности стен, и как бы сужается. Оно демонстрирует возвращение своей первоструктуры в тесноту своего рождения, манифестируя отмену смерти и цикличность жизненных процессов. В этом руинированном «пространстве, сжатого до точки», как свидетельствует Осип Мандельштам, незримо присутствует дыхание, вернее, возможность выдоха, его расширение, жест освобождения, провозглашающий вечную вольность души и постоянную открытость будущему как преодоление любых ограничений и агрессий.