A two-room apartment is not just the most common type of a city home; it also represents a coordinate system for a typical urbanite. More than a half of my life I spent in two-room apartments. The world is becoming more open to doing business, communicating, traveling, and establishing connections, and yet our life is becoming more and more secluded. The world seems compressed to the size of a small apartment. Day in and day out our bodies are living through the motion within one or two spaces at the most, and on the route between them. Each day starts with a certain ritualized sequence of actions.
At the same time, our minds are pondering over and sorting out global political conflicts, economic crises, information wars or actual wars. Our minds are traveling around the world and communicating with those of the others no matter how far apart they are. Our minds are processing tons of data about totally strange people and places. We are passively participating in the life of the global community, and our participation has no geography while our physical actions certainly have. This very dissonance splits ourselves more and more evidently into two separate rooms, that of the mind and that of the body.
The photographic background of each piece of the project was shot in this or that corner of the dwelling where my life revolves. The video works as a peeping hole of sorts or as a window across the street through which one can watch or rather spy on my daily not at all special actions, on my fussing around or my slowing down and hear the latest news or a five-minute meditation track. Like an astronaut on a spaceship, I wake up and start my daily routine. I work, I get my chores done, care about my family and then I’m out on my spacewalk into orbit‒ on the internet. I get connected to the rest of the world and rest while absorbing information, watching the lives of the others, thinking about serious social issues. It is so mundane and so strange at the same time. Thirty years ago, the world was a completely different place. This period seems a turning point.
I came to “Paint” following my human instincts, both brutish and sublime (the instincts of the viewer and the artist and a need for esthetic pleasure). All my love for the art of the 19th / early 20th centuries accumulated here. My choice of the inspiring artists was determined by long-standing affection for their creations. Then I became interested in the sources of inspiration from both sides – the artist and the model, intertwining, opposing, conflicting and working for each other. Immersing into scrutiny of the artist-model interaction, you unexpectedly get new information about yourself. You unpack your inner demons. It is amazing to observe the transformation of your creative, exploratory energy into sexual and vice versa. I allowed myself to undress in front of the camera for the first time. Or, to be more precise – I allowed my characters to do that, and through them – myself. When it comes to art, natural emancipation replaces social shyness. The secret desire for exposure in public comes to light. And it’s not just physical nudity. This is the release of locked sexual energy. The image of the nude has an ability to penetrate into the subconscious of the viewer when besides the body itself the author shows all the passions, desires and fears of that body. Finally, my quest led me to the topic of the shy artist’s hidden sexuality, expressed through his model. The artist is often shy and bashful, only art allows him to open up. At the same time, it was interesting to combine two techniques, two kinds of art – photography and painting. I used color in order to represent the depth, intimacy and eroticism of the relationship between the artist and the model. There is a lot of color in this series and it plays one of the main roles.
„My work is my personal theatre!“ Katerina Belkina ist eine jener Künstlerinnen, die man anhand ihres unverwechselbaren Stils sofort wiedererkennt. Die ihr eigene Art der Inszenierung zwischen Fotografie und digitaler Malerei lehnt in vielen Fällen an Einflüsse aus der Malerei an, zahlreiche Motive sind Selbstporträts. In den vorgestellten Arbeiten aus verschiedenen Serien eröffnet die Berliner Künstlerin russischen Ursprungs den Blick des Betrachters auf eben das, was man Zwischenwelten nennen mag: In ihren Fotografien blickt sie in eine ganz eigene und doch nicht völlig fremde Wirklichkeit. Mit phantastischen Märchenbildern zwischen Realem und Fiktivem oder über die Figur der religiösen Allegorie eröffnet sie Räume, Perspektiven und Mehrdeutigkeiten, auf die wir sonst selten einen Blick erhaschen. Die Serie Not a Man’s World etwa inszeniert die dargestellten Personen in bestimmten Rollenbilder, die dem Betrachter aus Märchen und Fabeln bekannt sind und verknüpft sie mit archetypischen Vorstellungen.
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