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27/06 – 31/07 2021
Mendes Wood DM São Paulo

What am I doing at the place I don’t belong to? What am I speaking about with the site that never will be mine? What am I trying to find measuring step by step the imaginary of the real world? – These could be the questions everyone faces when meeting art pieces of Zhenya Machneva.

Tapestry and graphics depict in details the world that doesn’t exist. Everything could be realistic: the objects, proportions, positions, colors. But outcomes of artist’s viewing are way too prolific. And on the background of salmon and shrimps colored sunset we recognize the secret life of objects. The woven artefacts embody moods and biographies: examining pictures closer and longer, we see them moving, we fancy the characters.

These figures inscribed into landscapes are taken from decay spots, which are dispersed all over the world. Some languishing buildings still inhabit postindustrial zones in Russia, some disproportional dwarfs of real-estate are inspired by backstage Manhattan, some facades are corrupted with graffiti by highly expressive Parisians. Prototypes are well noted by artist, meticulously catalogued in her memory. Nevertheless, the spectators are not bothered with the realness of the depicted objects, neither are they subject to moralize.

What we witness through artworks are the traces of aesthetic imprints, kind of false, well, artistic memories, which are properly fed by the slightly obsessed tendency of the artist to collect each and every object that discloses itself as a portal to some other world, which itself is condemned to avoid a proper existence.

Through her unique and meditative technique and thorough approach to the palette, Zhenya Machneva creates bridges to the world of the sublime, found in the very routine and so well recognizable image gallery of urban landscapes. Attentive and almost amorous attention to the characters which are intertwined with the city creates the intriguing freeze of emotions and movement.

The possibility of transfer, the closeness of some other world (better or worse) is well restrained by anchor of admiration. Space and time are at anchor, they flatter in sight. Everything is suspended, the anchor is never fully raised or properly dropped. Still, it provokes some warm inertia, some fugitive gap, where trembling imaginative worlds can peep out without a risk to be caught and explored.

Text by Zhenya Chaika

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