Marina Alexeeva. Ballet. Mixed-media, video, sound installation. 38x38x38 cm +ap. 2019
Marina Alexeeva, a well-known Russian pioneer of multimedia and early digital art, presents new series “lifeboxes” - objects with screens that project dynamic video elements onto the physical miniature background, which address stereotypical conventions of the art market, politics and culture. The artist had experimented with this unique medium for over three decades and in recent years turned to create punchy, movie-like critical storylines. Each box contains a physical, handmade by the artist miniature backdrop for the scene, which is inhabited by the protagonists. They are rendered in the scene digitally through the invented by Alexeeva system of screens and mirrors. The viewer sees as a result of transfixing animated images of humans, turning into various animals and shapes as the narrative of the story unfolds. The miniature refined details invite the public to peep into the boxes from a very close distance to see all the small material details of the scene. The animated story evolves at a very fast pace, almost as if one would have been watching a speedy gif animation or a representation of automated behavioural gestures. The artist reflects on the stereotypical patterns of socio-political behaviour of people in specific circumstances. The specially produced for this presentation lifeboxes deal with the subjects like NFT obsession, Brexit and coup d’etat.
About the Artist
Marina Alexeeva 1984 – graduated from the V. Mukhina Academy of Arts. Participant of 5th Moscow biennial of contemporary art; Contemporary Art Biennial of the South in Panama (2013). Works with various media: installation, object, painting. Lives and works in St. Petersburg. Since 1991 M. Alexeeva has been working with the media of micro- installation. The artist collects the sample interiors of public places and private living spaces placing them in small boxes – presenting sort of the concentrated environments. The ever-increasing success of these “Lifeboxes”– currently one of the most in-demand works of Russian art – can be explained by the fact that M. Alexeeva’s boxes are connected to multiple facets of our artistic and everyday experience. They are not only “built-into” the self-description of relevant art, but they also unite cultural tradition with fresh modern-day customs. Most importantly, the artist includes one of the most significant functions that make modern life attractive: she turns standardization into a playing field. Inside M. Alexeeva’s lightboxes, there is always a transformation of a standard going on. Any object in its normal place can, here, unexpectedly demonstrate freedom from stereotypes of behaviour and perception. The author copies nature not in the sense of increasing the diverse versions of something, but by developing mimicry of the world’s vivid transformational power. The superb level of art in “Lifeboxes” is supported by the artist’s ability to look at things untraditionally and see their essence – new images. In her most recent work, which can be examined through four windows, Marina Alexeeva has presented the classic story of human life: infanthood, youth, maturity, and death. The pioneers of this process were the Surrealists and the Dadaists, collectors of paradoxical situations in the life of modern man. Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Joseph Cornell became the authors of the first strange object collections, taking off from the four prototypes of a similar practice in the old culture: the creation of every possible type of model and “dollhouse,” suitcase designs for travelling salesmen, and, of course, church reliquaries.