Artists: Katerina Sokolovskaya and Carla Chaim
Title: This is big big big / This is small small small
Venue: Osnova Gallery, Moscow
Curator: Anna Zavediy
Recognizing, pointing, repeating – trying to bargain an anti-anxiety drug, local anesthesia. Counting rhyme as a way to call things and their features by their proper names. We thought that we were already existing in the post-pandemic time and that we could draw some clear conclusions about the new reality, but it appears that the situation is quite different. It is impossible to talk retrospectively about the world in economic, social, and biopolitical terms. The present is happening right now and changing in front of us. Therefore, the best we can do is to indicate the properties of the fragments of the present, thus avoiding the anxiety that they do not come together in a clear whole.
Katerina Sokolovskaya and Carla Chaim show how and where anxiety grows. Without a human being. As another object. The duo-project is based on the question of the relationship between body and space; and more generally – between all real things. With differing aesthetics but similar ideologies, artists reproduce the so-called “sensual objects”. They indicate places of the pre/post/extra-contact tension. According to Graham Harman, things never directly relate to each other but they can contact via sensual objects. We can think of them as a third object that appears between two real ones. But what if we remove the real objects and leave only the sensual ones? Something purposefully sharp, something purposefully large, odd, torn off. After the bodies-things have been removed, we must stop in front of what is left and repeat: “this is big big big, and this is small small small”.
Like two Alices in Wonderland, the artists throw into the space terrifying bizarre toys: huge eyes, sharp icicles, spider eyelashes, a six-armed beetle, and a message-cipher: handprints. But the essence of these things is not surreal. All these toys found themselves not in the imagination and not in the subconscious, but on the plane of the objective world, alongside with the walls and ceiling of the gallery, tables, chairs, and bodies of guests. Katya and Сarla create surfaces, retrieve sensual artifacts from the rabbit holes. Fear can run away from us like a white rabbit, delight can rise above us like a big mushroom, and doubt can flood everything around with restless waters.