Face of Surface
Surface Reality, an exhibit by PinchukArtPrize 2010 and Eidos 2008 prize winner Masha Shubina.
The new show can be said to fit with the painter's famous overall motto, "work with yourself, work on yourself." As usual, Masha is the centre of attention.
That said, Masha's role in the new series has shifted from Centre of the Universe to The World Through Masha's Eyes. Masha becomes an observer, an active contemplator or actionist, expressing her dissent or solidarity with what is going on around her.
The subject of her exploration is the eternal and endless nature of India and what has been and is being done to it by various historical cultural layers. These layers, which become ingrained in the object environment, are quite revealing. They shed light on the fight between nature and civilisation.
Like many others, Masha took it upon herself to return the environment to its original state. Using her artistic toolkit, she devised and conducted a true experiment.
What tools she used, how Masha used them in her artistic experiments, and how she really fought against the dominance of pseudo and surrogate values, we will be able to find out in the exhibition.
With this exposition, Masha Shubina tells us what she thinks of what barbarian civilisation does to ancient culture and, in this critical vein, creates her own artistic surrogates, making history and its conquests serve the free will of a modern creator.
In this way, the well-known Ukrainian painter Masha Shubina expresses her social and artistic views, calling on us to take on social responsibility and to fight for a clean environment.
"On the surface, a swamp may at first seem passable. The same goes for my life. However, if you look deeper, you will soon discover that it's an impenetrable jungle of living, working, working on eliminating mistakes, and on improving yourself.
It is no secret that, while everyone in Ukraine was freezing, I spent my winter in India. And that's wonderful. But, whenever I hear the question "Did you enjoy your holiday?" I feel awkward for the asker. I did not relax there. I worked. The fact that I did not have to wear warm socks and a scarf every single day does not mean that I was idle. The result you can see for yourself.
Thanks to the Indian material, the surface of a simple canvas with the producer's stamp on it got "imprinted" on my face. Thus, my four months worth of work were superimposed on India's age-old textile manufacturing tradition, where the fabric itself is a conglomerate of all shrouds, peoples and religions in the interzone.
In this interzone, plastic and synthetic aesthetics often outbalance the organics so propagated by visiting eco-activists.
For instance, during the colonisation of the Andaman Islands, the Indian government sent a number of motor boats fully laden with various items made of colourful plastic. The boats ended up being attacked by tribal arrows from the shore.
They boats did not come to land, failing to bring civilisation to the savages. After a while, the coastline of the islands became littered with recyclable plastic rubbish washed ashore by currents from Thailand.
Thus, the aim to "plasticise" an untouched society was achieved, in the same way as pacifier training with newborns erases any sign of ethnic reference.
However, it's almost impossible to erase the cultural pseudo-layer, however hard you try. But I tried, doing three 20-minute sequences each day.
As a foreigner, I fought and absorbed subcultures and surfaces layering them with my own views on different situations."
Masha Shubina, Goa - Kyiv, 2010