Exhibition runs 13th – 19th March 2012
Private view 13th March
Location: Gallery & Project Space
The exhibition of new work by Margo Trushina presents an examination of modes of perception of the Sublime and a case study of the conditions that might guarantee this intensive feeling in the postmodern environment.
‘Sublime And Instruction’ showcases a series of constructed images and installations, where the dichotomy of the two terms in the title are analyzed through the use of new media and paradoxes and metaphors are rendered with minimalist elegance. On the one hand, Trushina’s works appear as a logical continuation of classical landscape tradition, representing the themes of romantic painting, praising nature, skies, waterfalls, and the extraordinary phenomenon of the rainbow. On the other hand, by marrying abstraction, representation and combining the flat didacticism of photographs with the cold surfaces of technological and industrial materials, Trushina addresses the present condition of human relations with nature – our desire to investigate, intervene and make use of it, demonstrating both our perpetual aspiration towards nature and simultaneous desire to transform it according to our own needs.
The very history of the notion of the sublime is bound to its relation with Instruction. In the era of Romanticism, the sublime was seen as a feeling awaken by the forces of nature, by phenomena beyond conventional understanding and beyond human powers. The development of western philosophy in the last fifty years, particularly with Structuralism (Lyotard, Derrida), took the notion of the sublime into a linguistic dimension, stressing the over-regulation and over-determination of human life by language and the difficulty to escape pre-given, common emotional reactions. Trushina’s works investigate this concept as an aspect of the power of the given instructions and detect the fact that the space for experiencing the sublime drastically shrinks in postmodern conditions of existence.
The artist’s playful artistic experiments with her own photographs (which were made during her trips to Brazil and United States last year), objects and brutal industrial materials result in simultaneously sculptural and digital installations. The substance of these unexpectedly powerful, but delicate ‘physical environments’ appears to fluidly oscillate from physical surrounds to other-worldly experiences. Ranging from sentimental to the rational, the works dwell on the rites of passages human relations go through. Emptiness, freedom, uncertainty, enclosure and imbalance are among the sentiments displayed through these encounters between nature and technology. Trushina’s ‘environments’ create images with a totemic power of an object for worship. Although a worship of nature opening a space for self-forgetfulness, this overwhelming experience of mystification is of course illusory – a ‘replica’, an ‘artificial’ Sublime, offering a simulacrum of what we might never know in times when self-consciousness, reason and rational knowledge have taken over the realm of feelings and emotions.
The exhibition is open at Great Western Studios from the 13th to 19th of March. It continues at Salon Vert, London, from 23rd of March to 29th April. Trushina studied Photography at Moscow State University and Institute of Problems of Contemporary Art under Josef Bakhstein in Moscow.
She then went to obtain her MA in Fine Art from the Chelsea College of Art in London. Since 2006 she has shown in various exhibitions in Russia, Europe and the UK. In addition to gallery shows, her works recently featured in numerous public exhibitions, including “Russian Cosmos” at Castello De Rivoli Museo D’Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy; Multi-Media Art Museum, Moscow; “In The Middle of Nowhere”, Chelsea Parade Ground, London; The Spiral Moment, Archstoyanie, Moscow, and others.
Trushina lives and works between Moscow and London. She is represented by Salon Vert gallery.