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"One can only live life to the fullest at the cost of one's own self."

"The Steppenwolf" by Herman Hesse.


"Between the 'heaven of the spirit' and the 'hell of the race' is 'art purgatory', from which no one wants to go to heaven."

"Adventure" Marina Tsvetaeva




The project "Well, why should I do this art" by artist Julia Abzaltdinova is formed by the context of the female gaze, a female visual tool that opens up a special artistic reality; its structure is united in a creative organism that naturally exists in a multi-genre image - photo, objects, video, sound.  The artist's installation room immerses the viewer, first of all, in an absolutely intimate space of a woman like a sacred "red corner" and at the same time in the multifaceted creative reality of a creator working with her own body and inner experiences and searching for the possibility of organic coexistence of "heaven of the spirit" and "hell of the race".


As the author himself notes, the project is an image of the inner world of a woman artist, where the home interior and light create visible coziness, while the inhabitants of this room - photographs, video, sound, as visual images, thoughts and memories - evoke feelings of discomfort, despair, fatigue and cyclicality. The juxtaposition of these two antitheses - coziness and discomfort - forms a space where the artist experiences her own body through physical and existential crises. The project becomes a kind of psycho-physiological center, which hides both a sense of joy and a state of suffering. The attempt to find oneself, manifests itself through the conflict between the (pre)defined (pre)purpose of woman and the desire to go beyond the prefix "pre", through physiological and emotional nudity and turning to the space of art, where the word "art" itself is an independent territory, occupying a median genderless position. This struggle is defined by the search for consent of the self in society and art, which is presented to the viewer in the project space as a tapestry of images: the artist's immediate life in all its details and particulars, revealed by the organics of the body.


Julia Abzaltdinova, being in the creative space, where there is simultaneously the beingness of the "women's corner", tries to see herself from the inside - to mark the map of her states, to define the coordinates of pain and joy, to determine the boundary of feelings and the surrounding space. The duality of the process of self-identification, the exploration of the boundaries of one's own self as a woman and as an artist seem to collapse in the space of the installation - the concentration of images seems to condense and become irreal, turning the statement into a "point in space". However, this saturation allows us to see the other side of this state - being inside the room we become explorers of the "space of a point" itself. The concentrated world of the artist seems to expand, to become infinite, testifying to a deep, shaky and unclear experience connected with the subconscious, where fears and anxieties continue to live. The artist's installation is a process of overcoming, where negative meanings are transformed into life-giving energies that make it possible to regain the presence of the real and harmony in our complex social structure.


Julia Abzaltdinova's installation room, where photography becomes the predominant medium, can be seen as a window into the system of communication links with the world with its principles and standards. It is photography that allows us to grasp the defenselessness of immediate reality. The main tool of the artist - photography - acquires a special imagery in the exposition, a new form: it is not photographic paper, film or transparencies, it is a certain hybrid of visual culture - photography and objects, photography and video, photography and sound. All parts of the installation room - photo wallpaper, phototextiles, a video like an animated voiced photograph, a looped photo sequence on a video frame - testify to a tendency towards rhythmic cyclicality, meditative repetition that puts the viewer in a trance. "Artistic image" by Yulia Abzaltdinova becomes a synthesis of material culture and art as a modeling system. The artist's material recreates a way of life with a structure peculiar to the material used. The subjectivity and landscape of all elements of the project are identified with the variability of conceptual visual reflections on the stratification of the reality surrounding us. Photography translates a special state of being, allowing the viewer to co-experience. The artist in this concept realizes himself not only perceiving, but also perceived, where he not only "looks" himself, but is also "looked at".


The project "Well, why should I do this art?" is an experimental space filled with multilayered manifestation of female self, revealed in a variety of forms of artistic gesture and communication with the viewer. It is the experience of defining one's place in the creative world and in the world of being, as well as the state of constantly changing role of "I am the beholder" and "I am the examined" that becomes the core theme of the project. As a result, the artist's space retains its processual character: it does not answer the question "Well, why should I do this art?" and does not offer options for the conjugation of the role of a woman and the role of an artist, but gives the opportunity to explore the fragile life space of the heroine with all the subtle physical and sensual meanings of her existence.


Anastasia Kozachenko-Stravinskaya, curator, art historian

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