French lessons

Solo exhibition, installation, open studio
Graphics, embroidery, dresses, 2019

Residence Cité internationale des Arts, Paris, 2019

I made the «French lessons» project at the Cité internationale des Arts residence in the autumn of 2019. From my first days in Paris, I started learning French using a popular mobile app. I felt isolated without knowing the language, and I wanted to start speaking French at least a little, at least in order to understand the street signs and buy bread. But the utterances I was offered to learn were completely inapplicable in everyday life. Most of them sounded funny or absurd, sounded controversial, or posed difficult rhetorical questions. Taken out of context, these phrases created a poetic field around them, which inspired me to work with them further. Approximately the same effect occurs, when you walk immersed in your thoughts and come across some writing on the wall and take it personally. Besides, I walked a lot around the city and mentally collected pieces of the Parisian urban environment. I combined the words from the application with abstract graphics that reminded me of urban surfaces. This is how a series of graphics and embroidery called the «French lessons» appeared, where an unsuccessful attempt to learn a new language turned into a poetic expression. In the end of the residency, I made a two-day installation in my studio.

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