Letters from afar

Graphics, text, postcards, Post of Norway and Russia, 2017
Exhibition «Arctic hysteria»
Museum of Nonconformist Art, St. Petersburg, 2017
Curated by Anastasia Patsey
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Anniversary Festival PRO Arte «Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum»
Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic, 2019
Curated by Dmitry Ozerkov

I went to Svalbard (Spitzbergen) twice. The first time was in April, 2017 when I was invited to an art residence for a month. Then I plunged in traveling through the archipelago, communicated and learnt about the local life, which is unlike anything I had ever seen. I was so overwhelmed by the impressions and novelty of the place that I had no time to ponder and do anything for the residence.

 

I left with the feeling that I did not have enough time. In addition, I found a friend in Spitzbergen. Therefore, in July I went again to spend my vacation in Spitzbergen and see the polar day. It was then that I made drawings and postcards for the «Letters from afar» series. At night the sun shone even brighter than during the day, and it filled the mountain peaks and talus with golden light. Sometimes it was difficult to understand where everything is happening, in a dream or in reality. I wanted to draw and write letters by hand, somehow share these feelings. It seemed logical that my impressions would travel a long distance and have a difficult journey to the mainland, and not just fly in by email in a second.

 

Post is a very important element in the life of the archipelago, almost everything that the island inhabitants need passes by means of post. I wandered around Longyearbyen, painted, reflected and sent postcard drawings to St. Petersburg. Half of my postcards got lost somewhere along the way. These losses also have an important meaning, they became part of the project. While I was in Spitzbergen, a strange sense of contradiction remained. It seemed obvious: a human should not be here, life here demands too much effort. At the same time, this place attracts like a magnet, and its nature enchants. As if only here, thousands of kilometers from big cities, among the sharp peaks and the cries of whales, you can find real truth and wisdom, feel the bare life as pure as blue ice

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