Curated by: Anya Sintsova
As part of the «Debut» program
Over the past years social networks and the media have abounded with articles about violence and aggression. Featuring personal stories told in the first person, they have caused controversial reactions in society, varying from empathy to victim blaming. For victims such stories are a means of self-help treatment, an attempt to accept traumatic events and cope with them. Aiming to contribute to the public discussion on this theme, Grankova’s exhibition has at its core the artist’s reflection on her own and other people’s experience expressed in the forms of installation, video and performance.
The first of three sections of the show focuses on the mechanisms of reproduction of violence, including media representation of violence as spectacle. A video titled «STBY», directed and scripted by Stas Fedosov, consists of several stories and explores the roles of aggressor and victim.
The second section focuses on the distribution of roles of aggressor, victim and witness in various social groups such as family, orphanage, hospital, maternity home, school, army and prison. Each of these groups has its «tools» for implementing violence, which serve as «physical evidence» of abusive actions. However, the artist does not want the viewer to sink in despair and offers a way out through collective trauma therapy depicted in the video-documentation of the performance of the group ROI (Anna Butenko, Varvara Grankova, Antonina Gorbenko, Lyuba Sautina, and Victoria Khrenova).
An installation titled «Mask» constitutes the third section of the project. The artist borrowed the form for the masks from the fabric self-sewn face masks that prisoners of forced labor camps wore to protect themselves from cold (authentic masks are exhibited at the GULAG State History Museum). The artist considers these masks a symbol of compassion and invites the viewer to look at the world through the eyes of victim, thus offering a way to escape violence.
The artist has created an Instagram account «@nenasilie» as an interactive continuation of the exhibition in MMOMA. She has uploaded there pictures of people with the words that caused them pain written on their bodies. Visitors are invited to publish their photos under the hashtag #nenasilie.