How can realism be critical today?
conversation between Olga Chernysheva and Cosmin Costinas
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On 17 February 2011 at 20.00 hrs, Olga Chernysheva, whose work is currently presented in the solo exhibition In the Middle of Things at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, in Utrecht, talks with the exhibition curator Cosmin Costinas about her practice. Several of Chernysheva’s videos are presented during the conversation as a basis for a discussion about her subjective explorations of everyday life in contemporary Russia, which is marked by brutal neoliberal developments and lingering traumas from its Soviet past.
Costinas and Chernysheva discuss artistic strategies in this complex social and cultural environment. Chernysheva’s method in approaching her surrounding reality raises questions such as: What does it mean to redeploy a certain tradition of realism in art today and how can realism serve as a critical tool? Reflecting on the status of contemporary art in Russia, Chernysheva and Costinaş also discuss the role of the artist, caught between dominant market trends of spectacle and commodity production. How can artists resist these tendencies while casting a critical eye on the social developments around them?
On the same occasion, BAK launches the artist edition Clippings by Olga Chernysheva. Based on the installation work Clippings (2010), this edition connects photographs and video stills with fragments of artist’s reflections.
Venue: Auditorium, Het Utrechts Archief, Hamburgerstraat 28, Utrecht.