Tilda Publishing
19 November – 19 December 2022
Tilda Publishing
On 17 November, Alisa Gallery will present 'Into the Silent Waves', a solo exhibition by Victor Zhdanov that got its title after the first line of the artist's manifesto – 'Into the silent waves away from you all.' The show will feature works on paper that explore the themes of disillusionment with reality, escapism, and running away to the virtual state of kkatardaan.

Our imagination is the one thing that cannot be controlled from the outside, being entirely beyond the reach of all the departments of corrections in the world. The virtual country of kkatardaan is an isle of liberty, a radiant city on a hill, and a quiet sanctuary away from the tyranny of the mind of the state. Located on a nameless atoll lost in the warm waters somewhere off the coasts of Oceania, this civilisation of sapient insects eagerly awaits its only human inhabitant – a recluse running away from the lies and the wretchedness of human society. The chitin-shelled natives believe that this individual will be able to break ties with all social institutions, let go of false identities, and cleanse themselves of markers imposed by the system. They will be revived and, in a phantasmagoric dance of beetles, be reborn as a micronation, the only representative of their ethnic group, the I-state. Everything they put their hands to will become kkatardaan's artefacts, the building blocks of the wondrous atoll's material culture. Everything this messianic individual is doing now is mythmaking, escapist resistance to a total predator, in preparation for a dangerous journey into voluntary exile.

Paper, marker, 29,7 x 21 сm, 2022
The exhibition that showcases colourful works on paper illustrating the mythology of the virtual country of kkatardaan is, in a way, a rite of passage for the fictional state. Employing colour is a logical extension of the artist's automatic, monotonous drawings, which have become a source for amateurish psychoanalysis, and personal mythopoeia. The drawings feature snatches of the invented Wampuyk (wåmpuçk`) language and fictitious national symbols, including a flag displaying the anatomy of a May bug, and a vulva-wooden plough coat of arms.

The project by Victor Zhdanov will be the last exhibition of Alisa Gallery in the Cube.Moscow space.

Viktor Zhdanov (b. 1992, Stary Oskol) is a Moscow-based artist and independent curator. He holds a Bachelor's degree in graphic design from Belgorod State Institute of Arts and Culture, a Master's in Pedagogics from HSE Art and Design School, and a degree from the Baza Institute. Zhdanov has participated in the Tirana International Biennale of Graphic Art, as well as in the shows at the Elektrozavod gallery (Moscow), Winzavod CCA (Moscow), the Chicory Center for Contemporary Art (Zheleznogorsk), HSE ART GALLERY (Moscow), the Voronezh Center for Contemporary Art (Voronezh). As a curator, he has overseen multiple projects, founded the Microbiennale of Horizontal Initiatives, and penned articles for aroundart, Moscow Art Magazine, and the syg.ma portal.

Paper, marker, 42х59,4 сm, 2022
Tilda Publishing

19 August – 13 November 2022
Tilda Publishing
On 19 August 2022 Andrey Dmitrenko's exhibition 'I am both the wound and the sword. I am a delicate flower that has broken through this steel' opens at Alisa Gallery's Cube.Moscow space. It will feature works on paper, prints, objects and sculptures. Curator and art critic Egor Sofronov has penned a piece about the exhibition that explores the poetry of corporality in contemporary art.

Is the body portrayable as a gendered unit? In a family-property-oriented society, rigid codes still regulate the acceptability of perception by divorcing the body that is permitted to procreate from its privacy and marginalisation, if not its secrets and dreams. In an ideal world it should not be an outlet for the latter, but a combination of the former – not primacy, but a right.

When conceiving the project in mid-2020, Vladivostok-native Dmitrenko drew inspiration from a modernist novel by Yukio Mishima, in which speech determined the shapes for creating a masculine body. Gymnastic discipline for the sake of bodily perfection was combined with literary introspection. In a similar fashion, these works were put together around a photoshoot for prints featuring the 'bear' type, right down to pierced nipples on the hirsute chest, that the public may recall from techno parties. However, this phallonarcissistic mirroring does not quite present the full picture: the artist depicts scattered glass beads of techniques developed over the years of research, from poetic wordsmithery to melancholic reminiscence. According to American art historian and critic Douglas Crimp*, ever since the AIDS epidemic, melancholia has been a significant poetic vehicle for queer art whose representatives Alisa Gallery is paying tribute to.

Paper, pigment print, 50.5 x 41 сm, 2022
Edition: 5+1

Recollection is looking for signs of the bygone, as if in a family archive, but retouched in a way that the retro-nostalgic does not interfere with novelty, and the private acquires an impersonal address. The tradition of reusing obsolete marks of history (jewellery boxes – for rebus sculptural miniatures, thick paper – for drawings) dates back to Soviet conceptualism and, more recently, to its assimilation by collage artists such as Yan Ginzburg who taught Dmitrenko while working on Closed Fish Exhibition. Reconstruction (2020). This figurativeness is revitalised by the mnemonic setting of artistic labour: the author was taught to sew and embroider by his mother and started using these feminine-coded handicrafts after reaching maturity; he noted glass beads when interacting with his father's fishing tackle work – Oedipal introspection complicates the gendered division of labour and introduces lyricism into it. As in the sentimental literature of the late 18th–early 19th century, depiction does not present a statement as it is, but hints at it inseparably from concealment, layers, curtains, staying-in-the-box, secrets, and tears concealed by an optical trick.

Andrey Dmitrenko (b. 1990, Vladivostok, Russia) is a contemporary artist, alumnus of the Far Eastern Federal University's Department of Graphic Design (2014) and the Baza Institute (2021). Dmitrenko's solo shows were held at the Zarya CCA and Arka Gallery (Vladivostok), FFTN (St Petersburg). Participated in the Embrace, Almost Envelop exhibition at Alisa Gallery alongside Kirill Mikhailin. Dmitrenko's works are featured in the collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art, the Museum of the Far Eastern University, as well as in private collections. He lives and works between Moscow and Vladivostok.

*Douglas Crimp. Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2002.


Textile, beads, embroidery, metal chain, quartz, mixed media, 109 x 19 х 15 сm, 2020
Tilda Publishing
8 July – 14 August 2022
Tilda Publishing
On 8 July 2022, Varvara Grankova's solo show titled Flowers and Grass after a lyric from a song by the Soviet rock band Kino, launches at Alisa Gallery in the Cube.Moscow space.

Artist Varvara Grankova creates her works using unwanted and redundant clothing. In the run-up to the exhibition, Varvara set up a hub for collecting and sorting out garments that Ukrainian refugees might need. The project is an attempt to lend a helping hand to those who find themselves in dire straits and to create an occasion for compassion, solidarity, belonging and solace for those in Russia who are eager to help, to re-establish dialogue and unite both sides through inciting hope for the end of the war and human suffering.

'In the end, only flowers and grass will endure. But as long as we exist, we carry the memory of different people and stories of assistance and support.'

The upcycling process involves those who donate clothes and those who receive them, as well as the audience: the artist's practice comprises communication between different participants and their stories that are interwoven within the fabric of the project. Varvara attempts to forge these connections as part of the show, for which a clothing collection bank that will cater to charity and the future work itself was set up in the Cube.Moscow space on 8 June.

The artist has divided the articles into two categories: to be used in the installation and to be donated to Ukrainian refugees through the Lavka Radostey foundation and relevant Telegram channels.

Clothes can be donated at Cube.Moscow during opening hours from 8 June to 31 July.

You can also bring items to the artist in person, accompanied by your stories. Please schedule an appointment via Telegram (@aprilsleep).

Textile, 70 х 70 cm, 2022
Tilda Publishing
29 April – 12 June 2022
Tilda Publishing
The exhibition of Anton Gudkov's abstract works on paper, In the Shade of Shrubbery, opens at Alisa Gallery on 29 April.

Anton Gudkov creates his works in a distinct manner defined by the use of a rich associative array enhanced by the hatching technique, the linear nature of the drawing, and the fullness or outward emptiness of a single sheet of paper. Tweak each of these parameters in an artwork with a similar expressive background, and the quantitative effect will convert into a qualitative one. In the case of a drawing with a dense visual texture from the start, its transparency and complementary permeability of the image and the background come to the fore. A randomly broken line, which in a different context could pass for a 'squiggle', provides an experience of the richness of the graphic vernacular.

Graphics are characterised by inherent minimalism. A line, a stroke, a dot – ambiguous, multiple-meaning phenomena in their own way, they acquire a higher value in the virtual absence of any other means, with the only available ones put together using combinations of whatever is at hand. Occasionally, painting too can appear minimalist, but its minimalism is contradicted by its illusory nature, the texture of the paint and the sculptural quality of the pigments applied to the canvas. Installation is rendered excessive by the materials selected and the manual or machine labour used to assemble it.

With graphics, every step – that can be 'regarded as a dance' – has a meaning. It is in this unseen 'dance' that a single bush or entire hedgerows sprout from each of Gudkov's 'squiggles', and every single branch can strike out on its own, with many easily discernible nuances.

Paper, oil pastel, 30 х 20 cm, 2021
Boris Groys. Politics of Installation / Politics of Poetics. Ad Marginem Press, Moscow, 2012, p. 61–77 Even though graphics are tangible, and the paper that often serves as a canvas can survive the test of time, as evidenced by the wealth of national libraries and Kupferstichkabinett-like museums of the world, its physical presence is striking in its transience. Installation fences off its own exhibition space that comes with its built-in politics. Performance, even when not intended to be documented, builds everything around itself.

When portrayed in painting, an everyday object or a human figure insistently declares its presence and claims to be real. But when depicted as a graphic image, they embody an idea, a mental cast of their hypothetical existence. The life of objects at Gudkov's exhibition may indeed be taking place in the shade of shrubbery, but Gudkov the graphic artist does not suggest that the viewers immerse themselves in the image, as is the case with paintings and installations or video art. Graphic space is woven from conventions and techniques that the artist has no slightest intention to disguise. It does not represent the space of reality but rather a snippet of a memory of said reality. Life in the shade that didn't necessarily take place in this dimension.

Valery Ledenyov

Anton Gudkov (b.1987, Omsk, Russia) favours a variety of media and techniques, including abstract graphics, painting, collage, objects, and found materials. Gudkov's solo shows were held at the CCI Fabrika (Archive, Moscow, 2021), the 'Omsk Art' State Museum (Exercises in the White Room, 2018). He also participated in the Point of Entry group show alongside Alexander Verevkin and Sergey Taushanov at the SPHERE Contemporary Art Foundation (formerly Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin, Moscow, 2020) and the Nemoskva project (The Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg, 2020).

1. Quote from a poem by Yana Tokareva from the On Russian Poetry series http://www.vavilon.ru/texts/tokareva1-2.html
2. Boris Groys. Politics of Installation / Politics of Poetics. Ad Marginem Press, Moscow, 2012, p. 61–77

Paper, oil pastel, watercolor, 84 х 60 cm, 2022
Tilda Publishing
26 February – 24 April 2022
Tilda Publishing
On 26 February, Ksenia Finogeeva's first solo show, INDOOR WARRIORS, opens at Alisa Gallery. The show will feature large-scale canvases depicting mixed martial art fighters.

By setting apart the 'substantial' and 'uninterpretable' as two opposite poles in art, American critic Susan Sontag ushered in an era of the 'flight from interpretation' in contemporary criticism. Sontag deems the approach when all that is obvious is pushed aside in search of a true meaning and latent content to be redundant. Abstract and pop art are replaced by 'mimetic practices''where there is no content, there is nothing to interpret', says Sontag.

However, Ksenia Finogeeva's art remains within the realm of visual tradition and is seemingly open for interpretation. What is her project about?

The mixed martial arts fighters the artist portrays on the huge canvases are all real-life lawyers, doctors, and managers. They refer to their circle as a fraternity, a gated community that exists outside of their real lives, completely inaccessible to their wives and children. Sounds like a great subject for social agenda projects that are in such high demand today. But social projects require a different degree of involvement both from the artist and from the participants, whilst the project presented to us lacks documentation in the form of interviews with participants, videos, or photos.

Canvas, acrylic paint, 140 х 130 cm, 2021
Ksenia is interested in human emotions but for this project she has chosen subjects that tend to be inordinately reserved. It would seem that we are looking at emotions manifested through the aggression of the fight, but Finogeeva's paintings contradict the declared brutality. The figures of the wrestlers cannot by any means be called portraits. On top of that, they all seem to remain in some kind of suspended somnambulistic state, their wrestling is static, and their eyes are either closed or completely absent.

Is this project about corporeality? But the artist is not a performer and does not work with body-related narratives, with a body as a medium. With her interest in the body purely formal, Ksenia is an observer. And perhaps her immediate observation is the most valuable feature of the project. The artist's toolkit is contrasted with an athlete's technique, and although in this case the body for an athlete is not the primary meaning in relation to their action (as may apply to bodybuilding), behind the 'obvious' the artist attempts to search for the 'true meaning': the natural, social and cultural space that constructs our corporeality.

Anna Romanova

Ksenia Finogeeva (b.1989, Crimea) is a Moscow-based visual artist working with painting and graphics. Alumna of the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts, British Higher School of Art and Design and University of Hertfordshire (UK).

1. Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961

Canvas, acrylic paint, 140 х 140 cm, 2021
Tilda Publishing
Alexander Kiryakhno
27 January – 20 February 2022
Tilda Publishing
On 27 January, the Alisa Gallery in partnership with the Arka Gallery (Vladivostok) will present a solo exhibition by Alexander Kiryakhno in the main space of Cube.Moscow. Kiryakhno is known as one of the most mysterious artists of the Primorsky region and the originator of the Vladivostok aesthetic of eclecticism, sensuality and eroticism. The show will feature objects from different stages of the artist's career, starting from the 90s: paintings, works on paper, collages, assemblages, and fabrics.

From the early days of his practice, Alexander Kiryakhno did not fit into the paradigm of Soviet art and never aspired to meet its criteria. The artist continued to stay away from the mainstream in the post-Soviet decades: a household name in Vladivostok, his shows have nevertheless been few and far between. Curator and critic Andrei Erofeev believes this aloofness stems from his artist stance. While Vladivostok witnessed the clashes of conservatives with the 'agents' of the avant-garde, albeit, with a slightly simplified plot than in the capital, Andrei labels this confrontation as provincial and notes that Kiryakhno refused to play along. 'He was an outsider, an artist who did not fit the "Russian Standard." It was for this reason he could not be considered provincial. His mode of expression could not be called derivative when compared to the metropolitan style. […]'*

The image of the Primorsky region cultivated by Kiryakhno is devoid of any regional or social portraiture, it '[...] contains none of the usual high-rises, the communal housing projects or "Khrushchevki"; it leaves out the [...] prisoners of the gulag [...] and all the other telltale signs of Soviet cosmos. In their place are monuments and religious relics, which Kiryakhno found [...] resting on the altars of his neighbor's homes. These kinds of objects are not only to be observed in the prayer rooms of Buddhists, Shinto worshippers, animists, the Orthodox or cult members, but also in the dark corners of bedrooms, in children's "nooks," on women's boudoirs and bedside tables.' What was important to the artist was not the various belief systems of these cults, but rather the associated aesthetic of these intimate reliquaries, shadows cast by followers of various religions and cultures in the port city of Vladivostok.

Collage, mixed media, 87 x 73 cm
Scrutinising Kiryakhno's works, the critic compares them with 'Timur Novikov's "tapestries" or the "rags" of Konstantin Zvezdochetov, which also depicted the kitschy trappings of the boudoir. Other distant relations could be found in the assemblages of Daniel Spoerri, the "New Realists" and even Rauschenberg's brand of American Pop Art.' The scale of this comparison makes one wonder how, despite the absence of institutional and curatorial support and the lack of professional dialogue, the artist managed to build up a microcosm of his own and develop an artistic language to communicate with the rest of the world.

Alexander Ivanovich Kiryakhno (b. 1950, Novobureisky village, Amur Region) is a Vladivostok-based artist. An alumnus of the Vladivostok Art College (1978–1982). He has participated in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (South Korea), the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art (Vladivostok, 2015), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow, 2017), as well as in the Netherlands and the USA. His works can be found in the collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Artetage Museum of Modern Art (Vladivostok) and private collections in Russia and abroad.

*Hereinafter: quotes from the Rebels at the Edge: Contemporary Art in Vladivostok, 1960s–2010s exhibition catalogue [Maier Publishing, Moscow, 2016: p. 105–107; translation by Kate Sutton].

Tilda Publishing
15 January – 20 February 2022
Tilda Publishing
Alisa Gallery presents the first exhibition by Diana Romanovich, The Garden, on 15 January. The exclusion and expulsion of women become the leitmotif of the first chapter of the artist's substantial transmedia work, a retrospective and analysis of the oppression of women, starting with the Biblical story of the expulsion of Eve from the Garden of Eden.

The Garden's concept stems from the image of a tree burnt by a lightning strike, copied from a medieval manuscript dated c. 1430. The manuscript recounted the story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The artist also recreates bits from illustrations by Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century nun and proto-feminist. Gothic shapes of the sculptures convey the fragility and morbidity of female nature. The red colour of the walls intensifies the feelings of agony and tension. The installation space imitates an altar, which every visitor without exception is invited to step into.

The curse that was put on Eve in the Book of Genesis becomes the first mention of a woman's communion with Satan and of her accusation for the humans' expulsion from Paradise. The Garden's narrative brings the repressed woman back from her 'eternal exile to the Dark Continent', perceived as an inculcated fear of the dark, instilled from an early age and internalised. According to Hélène Cixous, 'The Dark Continent is neither dark nor unexplorable. It is still unexplored only because we've been made to believe that it was too dark to be explorable.'

THE GARDEN (detail)
2021, ceramic, 40x160 cm
Through examining medieval artefacts in detail, the artist reimagines the concepts of witchcraft and sorcery as protoforms of an anti-capitalist rebellion and a symbolic protest against patriarchy and its power. By delving into various aspects of maternal duties, crossed out and wiped out cultural codes, the artist puts together her own artistic practice and develops strategies to resist the spiralling structures of capitalism.

Diana Romanovich (b. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist from Novorossiysk, an alumna of Krasnodar University of Culture and Arts, student of the BAZA Institute of Contemporary art (2020–present). Currently based in Moscow.

In her practice, Romanovich examines femininity through the optics of dark ontologies and psychoanalysis. Her preferred media and techniques include installation, ceramics, metal, painting, and sculpture.

THE GARDEN (detail)
2021, ceramic, 40x160 cm
Tilda Publishing
2 December 2021 – 9 January 2022
Tilda Publishing
Alisa Gallery presents Sofya Skidan's solo exhibition based on the artist's new digital collages that combine fragments of landscape and sculpture snapshots taken by Skidan with paintings mapping her imaginary worlds. The exhibition also features new sculptures, an amalgam of nature found objects and man-made materials that gives rise to a new flexible language expressing a not-quite-human perception of reality.

The project features the works produced as the outcome of several years' research. Snapshots, scents and sculptures are linked by a lyrical thread made up of snippets of imaginary and/or real memories, 'which stick together but become tangible'.

Sofya Skidan says, 'These works see natural spaces and sculptures blend into photographs and morph back. I put these fragments together from droplets of billowing allure, continuity of space and attempts to lift the layer of vulnerability from the structure of memory. There is no homogeneity to my works, historical and individual memories mutate, causing natural landscapes, mystical phenomena, body parts, textures, casts and sculptures to juxtapose onto imaginary meta worlds. They may have never come into existence or are already transforming into the landscape of the closest magical, mystical and/or hypothetical future.'

Sofya Skidan's works invite the viewer to reflect on the memory of bodies that are not necessarily living, on their density and fatigue in new temporal registers, in which the present is controlled from the future, and, therefore, turns out to be the past that is beyond our touch.

2021, digital collage, dibond, edition 10+1, 50x37.5 cm
Sofya Skidan b. 1996 — Ukhta, Russia Lives and works in Moscow. She graduated from the Saint-Petersburg State University of Film and Television and Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. Works with installation, performance, sculpture and video. She explores ways of perceiving the world as information, questions about intuition and transformations, reflections on speculative history, and the spectator's visionary experience. Her work is a site-specific installation, in which artifacts of post-digital reality are combined with elements of a lost natural landscape, and Eastern spiritual practices with modern Western critical theory, reflecting the problems of our time. Tapping into the complexities of postcontemporary, Skidan raises questions around updated understandings of human and non-human identity within today's technogenic culture in the anthropocene.

Sofya Skidan was awarded with scholarship within the program of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in support of emerging artists 2019/2020, is winner of Black Box residency in the Meyerhold center, 2019, was nominated for Kuryokhin prize in the Best Visual Art Project nomination, 2018. She participated in Porto Design Biennale 2021, festivals Rosbank Future Cities and Archstoyaniye, 2021, 6 and 7th Moscow Youth Biennal as well as exhibition in State Darvin Museum, Garage Museum, Moscow Museum for Modern Art, Multimedia Art Museum, CCA Tipography (Krasnodar).

2021, digital collage, dibond, edition 5+1, 75x120 cm
Tilda Publishing
15 October – 28 November 2021
Tilda Publishing
Katerina Lukina's works are densely populated with all sorts of imagery. Surrealistic characters, springing from either Dorothea Tanning's canvases or Andrei Khrzhanovsky's animation, pop up in the interiors or against the backdrop of mysterious and macabre landscapes resplendent in their fantasy power. They are scattered amidst abstract lines and spots, bringing to mind their possible prototypes in the avant-garde. The series, however, has nothing to do with the avant-garde – it portrays a concert at the Seeds Club, which is the title of both Lukina's first solo show and the series on display.

Every act of the concert comes across as whole and complete – and yet its meaning escapes the viewer. The artist leaves no hints as to what is going on on stage. Who exactly is Judy from the opening act? Who plays the out-of-tune piano in the Eleventh Act after 'her kidnapping' outlined in the Tenth Act? And who is the mysterious her, in the first place? The Seeds Club first appeared in Lukina's samizdat book Murashevsky House (2019), but the self-reference hardly adds to the comprehension of her new works.

The works from the Concert at the Seeds Club (2020–2021) series comprise multilayered reliefs on plywood or cross-cut reliefs, sometimes with added metal elements. The images, first created in digital format, were embodied using UV printing. The artist put the images together from scratch: Lukina shaped an abstract spot on the white screen, infused it with volume and colour and surrounded it with other images with no predetermined narrative (she never makes sketches of her future works), based purely on inspiration, immediate sensations and mood, which directed her towards different visual solutions.

2021, acrylic, UV print, multilayer plywood relief, 50x77 cm
None of the ideas and images that pop up in our mind's eye starts from scratch; they are built around the perceived reality, language and the established worldview. But Lukina refrains from deliberate citing of the trivialities and hidden gems of the global cultural archive. She elevates the subjective logic of sensations to the status of a method – not illustrating her private thoughts or stories but visualising Deleuze's idea of the artist as the creator of batches of new, not-yet-familiar sensations, which are folded into and which can be unfolded inside the work.

How is one supposed to look at works like these? How is one supposed to unravel these 'tangles of sensations' that, while having the appearance of being self-sufficient, complete, entitled acts, become phantoms of assumed meanings? And the specific details of each work, including the tags, only emphasise its permanent vanishing act. Perhaps the entire point is in the assembly and adhesive joints of the works, in the way the relief parts are attached to the plywood board and the image is fitted across several wooden surfaces etched with UV light, in the way the Concert acts are interspersed with these barely visible joints, like punctuation marks that give meaning to what has been said.

As the artist builds up her works from randomly selected fragments, they can be viewed in the same manner – by picking out minute details from the whole and 'unfolding' the image in any which way, by focusing on specific details or trying to grasp every act or the entire Concert as a whole. In his article on the politics of installation, Boris Groys defined art as 'a way of making hidden reality visible'. While Concert at the Seeds Club does not expose the hidden reality to the viewer, it indicates the very possibility of its existence without revealing its actual appearance, leaving a gap for what remains unsaid, does not manifest in speech and does not rise to the surface. It remains, in line with Groys's logic, 'a space of openness, disclosure, unconcealment' as opposed to the logic of exclusion that lurks behind the veneer of imaginary completeness and transparency of the current order of things.

Valery Ledenyov

Katerina Lukina (b. 1995, Mytishchi, Russia) is a Moscow-based artist. Alumna of the Moscow University of Printing Arts, Department of Graphic Arts (2019). Lukina has participated in group shows at the ISSMAG gallery, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, the ZDES na Taganke gallery, as well as in international exhibitions in China, Slovakia, Poland.
Instagram: @lukiplotster

2020, acrylic, UV print, multilayer plywood relief, 50x77 cm
Tilda Publishing
5 – 26 of September 2021
Tilda Publishing
Anton Pashutkin's first show with Alisa Gallery, Tosha, further elaborates on the artist's original research into his subjective experience of gender and sexuality that started in 2020.

The paintings from the series build on individual memory and family history. The cinematic canvases are filled with movement towards pleasure: a heaving body, a turned shoulder, a tossed head, deformed limbs pushing against the edge of the painting. To convey the sensuality and tenderness of childhood photographs, which act as the foundation for the series, Anton Pashutkin makes use of classical compositions alluding to Renaissance and Baroque portraits, thus enhancing the sense of non-linear movement through time.

By offering the viewer access to a traumatic form of visual and spiritual ecstasy, the artist evokes memories of his own sensual experiences, a near-reverence for the passions and awareness of the body. His canvases, painted in bright colours, are dense and complex. Pashutkin breathes the air of visual decadence and polymorphic fetishism into conventional scenes from his childhood photographs and draws the viewer's attention to the tangible side of pleasure.

Treating images on his canvases like bodies that are being pleasured, Pashutkin seems to convey the idea that sexuality has become a feature of the featureless universe. It is through the body and its sexual capacity that pleasure gets a chance to last. The reverse is also true – we have no pleasures other than bodily ones, there are no pleasures other than sexual ones. The only means of enjoyment that exists for us is through and of the body. Anton's works hint at the possibility of love beyond the narcissism of libidinal capitalism, and it is this love that allows one to stoop to desire – to reach out to another human being means to acknowledge one's wants and insufficiencies. The

impossibility of merging two bodies in the Real is defied in the language, in the Symbolic. If two can melt into one, enjoyment is ultimately possible. The artist has the power to name pleasure, to design and mould something new, which he passes on to us – from his own history of sexuality, gaining momentum and embodiment through the language of painting.

From the article 'Sexuality with Errors' by Ksenia Kononenko

Anton Pashutkin is a Moscow-based visual artist and painter, second-year student of the Baza Institute; has participated in a number of group exhibitions.

Ksenia Kononenko is a Lacanian psychoanalyst, poet and independent researcher; contributing author at the KRAPIVA Mag and F-Writing on Syg.ma; developed a game for the OPEN project of the Russian pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Tilda Publishing
9 July – 31 August of 2021
Tilda Publishing
Alisa Gallery presents the Embrace, Almost Envelop exhibition by Andrey Dmitrenko and Kirill Mikhailin. The artists, the former hailing from Vladivostok and the latter from Rostov-on-Don, are completing a two-year course at the Baza Institute and have already participated in group exhibitions, including the Closed Fish Exhibition. Reconstruction project. However, it is at the Alisa Gallery that they first appear in conversation. The exhibition introduces new artworks – works on paper and objects made from fabric, threads, metal, found materials. The works overlap, touching upon various aspects of corporality, vulnerability and safety.

Andrey Dmitrenko examines the properties of fabrics and embroidery. He makes small cuts embroidered with shiny beads and threads across large-scale blank canvases. The parallel between biological tissue and man-made fabric is perhaps one of the most common in fiber art and related practices since both skin and fabric's function is to cover, protect, embrace and envelop. In a similar fashion, he put together small sculptures using found objects and covered them in enamel, which erases the contours of the inner 'skeleton' and creates 'skin' around the original elements. These works aspire to unite the scattered parts into a single entity, yet hinting at the futility of this endeavour.

Kirill Mikhailin explores a different facet of enveloping. One of his works is a self-tensioning metal structure covered with adhesive mass that was inspired by bird traps. Once trapped in one of those, a living thing remains immobilized forever. The trap 'embraces', yet, unlike fabric that gently envelops the body, this particular kind of embrace and enveloping is extremely perilous. The sticky surface captures the traces of interactions with the object – touch prints, dust, organic matter. The artist is interested in the paradoxical state of the 'domesticated', trite, which offers neither safety nor shelter, and the contradiction of these premises gives way to anxiety.

Both the neat framing of the cuts in the body of the fabric and the collection of entropy traces are devoid of anguish and tension. In contrast to the art of the 90s, which constructed the image of the body's disintegration into components as a result of its weakness, imperfection, and disaster, the position of the artists in this exhibition is rather aloof and impassive. In our day and age, trauma as a personality-shaping event has been elevated to an absolute. However, Dmitrenko's 'wounds' on the surface of the fabric are as neutral as possible, not dramatic or richly decorated, whereas Mikhailin's traps and hooks become the tools of a collector not particularly concerned who or what gets caught in their net – they observe the catch with the curiosity of a naturalist (or a child?).

Curated by Adel Kim

Andrey Dmitrenko (b. 1990, Vladivostok) is a Moscow-based visual artist working with mixed media, comparing textures and characteristics of various materials. He creates fabrics, embroidery, works on paper and related media, as well as installations and video art. Participated in the Special Project of the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. Dmitrenko's works are featured in the collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art.

Kirill Mikhailin (b. 1992, Rostov-on-Don) is a Moscow-based interdisciplinary artist whose practices include installations, objects, works on paper and painting. Participated in the Special Project of the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art

Tilda Publishing
29 May – 2 July of 2021
Tilda Publishing
Alisa Gallery presents Fountains of Bachikistan by Julia Shafarostova. The exhibition will feature works on paper from the Projects for Non-Functional Fountains of Bachikistan series and the Drinking Fountain installation.

At the Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, artist Yulia Shafarostova presented a project about the ill-famed Muzykalny neighbourhood in Krasnodar, steeped in urban mythology. She transformed the run-down estate into the Bachikistan Khaganate that abounds in culture and infrastructure: it has a sought-after resort, a garden, and an artist residency.

The dichotomy of the structure devised by the artist manifests through pairs of opposites: barely equipped public spaces become a popular holiday destination; weed-ridden urban wastelands and abandoned construction sites turn into a lush sprawling garden; residential kitchen gatherings serve as an artist residency. One of the real-life objects that brings the fictional and the real together is a fountain from the artist's courtyard – a piece of urban decoration that has not been in use for a single day. Bachikistan's roads and courtyards are constantly flooded with rain and sewage, yet the fountain, a source of fresh water, persistently defies its purpose, becoming a symbol of meaningless and dubious luxury.

By directing her gaze at the fountain, Julia Shafarostova amplifies the existing contrasts. Every image becomes a junction for the absurd, opulent Middle Eastern form of fictional non-functional objects and meanings represented by Krasnodar's endemic flora – clover, dandelions, plum and apple trees – all those fruit and plants the artist habitually gathers when wandering the grounds of Bachikistan.

Julia Shafarostova (b. 1991, Krasnodar) creates installations, works on paper and photographs, exploring the themes of identity and myth-making. In her works, she puts a great emphasis on the local context and situations and translates them into universal and accessible narratives.

Studied at the Khmel and Sukhoveeva School of Photography (Krasnodar) and KICA (Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art). Member of the Businki Art Collective. Participated in the Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2020) and multiple group shows at the Typography Center for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar, 2018–2021).

Tilda Publishing
9 April – 21 May of 2021
Tilda Publishing
Alisa Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of the first Moscow solo exhibition by photographer Alexandra Demenkova, who explores the complex, hidden, and often unsightly themes and captures the day-to-day life outside metropolises, carrying on the tradition of humanistic photography.

The exhibition will feature Alexandra's photographs from the Russian Portfolio, Kola Peninsula, Ira and Shurochka and Baba Valya series. The artist worked on them for several years, taking long trips to a handful of villages, where she tried to capture the last vestiges of a disappearing way of life and build relationships with the remaining residents – who booze, toil away, care for their cattle or just live and love.

Demenkova's approach to shooting is considerate and worlds away from exploitation. The unhurried pace of work, sympathy and living side by side with the subjects of her photographs for days or even weeks are all key components of Alexandra's life/work, for which empathy and establishing a safe, trusting space are so crucial. Perhaps that is the reason why the fate of the artist has become closely intertwined with the lives of her protagonists, and why her camera lens naturally finds itself amid their intimate and day-to-day life, which might seem unattractive to us, but, regardless, appears to be filled with love, sexuality, hope, and inexplicable optimism.

'I remember seeing Baba Valya for the first time in July 2016 just outside the gate leading to her house. She came out hearing the car and thinking it must have been her nephews. She was followed by two goats, a black and a white, dogs, cats, geese, ducks, chickens – which all seemed to come out to meet me. Surrounded by them, she stood there listening to me, and there was only one thought ringing in my head – "This is it!"

That time I stayed with her for two weeks. I felt that – gradually – she, too, fell in love with me. She was upset when I first mentioned leaving and tried to persuade me to stay for a month. We agreed that I would be back in two months, in time for her to start ploughing the garden. Saying goodbye, we hugged and could not hold back tears. Since then, I have been visiting Baba Valya at the first opportunity, and she has become one of the closest people in the world to me.'

Alexandra Demenkova, 2019 г.

Tilda Publishing
2 March – 4 April of 2021
The brand-new Alisa gallery for contemporary art, established by art manager and curator Alisa Bagdonaite, is opening at the Cube Moscow space with the first personal exhibition of German Lavrovsky «Reborn». His projects builds and documents, using variety of media,
a relationship with a reborn doll: a 3d posthuman baby. Interacting with the doll, the artist explores questions of post gender reproduction, queer and feminist theories, bioengineering, and alternative configurations of family; and creates speculative practices of emancipatory coming into being.

The project is centered on the community of reborn doll enthusiasts. Reborn dolls are hyperrealistic baby dolls made from manufactured toys, and the process of their making is known as reborning. Reborning emerged in the 1990s and has given rise to an entire industry and a large community of reborners, who exchange tips on social media about taking care of the dolls and making them. The algorithm of care automatically launched through interaction with such commodified objects can act as a starting point for the reconfiguration of values commonly associated with infancy, motherhood, and family.

Reborn does not reside solely within the space of cyberfeminist theory, exploring technological infrastructures and the possibilities of subverting them, but also within the historical legacy of instruction and emancipation. The world's first experiments in offering sex education to pre-schoolers took place in the Soviet Union, at the experimental orphanage International Solidarity (1921–1925), where the curriculum was developed by psychoanalyst Vera Schmidt. One of the institution's tutors was Carl Jung's student Sabina Spielrein, who developed the idea of coming into being through the destruction of the norm, replacing the notion of the individuum with the "dividuum" (a non-unitary, constantly re-configurable subject), and studied the psyche through the physical. "During the process of procreation, two cells merge into one," Spielrein wrote in her Destruction as the Cause of Coming into Being (1912). "Each of the cells is destroyed as a unit, and from the product of this destruction new life emerges."

In the context of the educational practices developed at Vera Schmidt's orphanage, the reborn and the protocol of interaction with it trace alternative paths in our understanding of education, care, and coming into being through deconstruction and fluidity.

The exhibition is curated by Egor Sofronov.

3D printing, decomposable plastic, plaster, vaginal finger sex toy, computer-aided design, 2020
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125009, Russia, Moscow, Tverskaya 3, -2 floor,
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