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А leap in the dark exhibition at LUDA Gallery

5 August 2021 - 15 August 2021

Санкт-Петербург, Набережная Монастырки, 5В

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The finalists of the St Petersburg Young Design competition have started their exhibition at LUDA Gallery in St Petersburg!

The title of the exhibition by the young artists, graduates of the academy, can be translated as “wandering in the dark” or “stepping into the unknown”. Walking in the dark is a rejection of visual perception in favour of sensory perception, but it is also a feeling of anxiety, of the unknown. It is a sentiment experienced by young people on the threshold of a long life without knowing what to expect from the world around them. Such feelings are conveyed in many of the works in the exhibition “a leap in the dark”.

The exhibition is not intended to be a single statement, nor does it attempt to address contemporary issues. However, the works on view can be used to sketch a facet of themes and issues of concern to young contemporary artists. As a rule, these are worries about the future, about what we can do today to find ourselves in a better world and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Ecology, pandemics, mental health, life in the city, the history of the country, humanism and its values – these are the things that concern artists. In their works they seek to record their own emotional states, endowing their creative practice with a therapeutic nature.

For example, Yevgeny Antonov in his works reflects the anxiety caused by the changes in the usual way of life due to the pandemic and forced isolation: “Internet extroversion, disguise, nervous tapping of fingers on table, feast during plague, divination by cards, books, hands, and yet spring and bloom of everything, including virus and fight against it – all this is in transit, undergoing metamorphosis, and from the unknown comes fear of the future.”

Artist Anastasia Grishakova also addresses the theme of the future in her works, the three tapestries are past, present and future, where the third piece is incomplete and distorted, but it traces the ornamentation of the previous two pieces. This is the emerging future, which depends directly on the present moment.

Angelina Ignatkova also works in tapestry, but she is concerned with ecology. In her work, she captures the moment of metal rusting, so beautiful and dangerous for the environment. Maxim Frolov also addresses the theme of ecology – in his work he criticises the unpreparedness of states for summer fires and speaks about the feeling of their own powerlessness.

Julia Mortijs turns to the past – with her graphic series “K A T O R G A” she appeals for sympathy and mercy and also records a part of her personal family history. Natalia Lepekhina is nostalgic for her childhood and captures the cosy town she still draws on her memories.

Such different themes have one thing in common – a sense of unease. Instability, worries about the future and the search for answers in the past, the absence of reference points and the desire to build one’s own safe world unite the young authors of ‘a leap in the dark’.

Participants: Evgeny Antonov, Nina Babaeva, Anastasia Grishakova, Angelina Ignatkova, Matvey Korochkin, Natalia Lepikhina, Julia Mortis, Igor Petrushov, Anna Slobozhanina, Maxim Frolov, Anna Chervonnaya

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