Interview by – FLAVIA OCCHINI

Photos by – IVAN MIKHAILOV

 

Photo by Ivan Mikhaylov

Looking at the installations of Icastica 2013, manifestation of the international aesthetic culture which is in Arezzo until 1st of September, you are fascinated by the works of Tatiana Akhmetgalieva, at the Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art.

Tatiana Akhmetgalieva (1983, Kemerovo) graduated from Kemerovo regional art college, department of Design in 2002 and from Pro Arte Institute of St. Petersburg Art and Culture fund, went on the course “New technologies in modern art” in 2008. Then she gratueted from St.Petersburg State Academy of Arts and Industry by A. Shtiglitz, department of Fine Textiles.Now she lives and works in St.Petersburg and Moscow. The artist exhibited in Russia, Finland and Italy.

 

http://tanya-akhmetgalieva.com/en/main

 


To realize your works you use threads because it represents a way to hold the fragments in this crumbling worls…

Yes, I have often said that I would like to help mend strands, the world is falling apart …

Previously I worked mainly in graphics, and later when I entered to the Academy (The Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy) at the Faculty of Textile, somehow decided to apply the new knowledge about the material in my works. Thus was born the first works, but essentially it’s the same schedule. At that moment, I thought about the deep symbolic meaning of the thread and I was struck by how all of our lives, time, words, love, passion, relationships, communications, thoughts, actions, dreams, meanings, and more, can fit in this delicate subject.

In general, textiles and threads are not the only media that I use. I’ve been doing also graphics and video. And now I also really want to concentrate more on painting and sculpture. I love to experiment and try something new, combine completely different techniques and meanings.

 

… Like Penelope of the Odyssey: your analysis of the reality is connected with a reflection about time?  

Yes, I often hear comparison of me with some hero of ancient myths. Very often the Goddess of Fate Clotho, who spun the thread of life or with Adriane, who gave Theseus a ball of thread, well, or with Penelope, of course. I once even did a project called Clotho and was featured on one of the Ural Biennale of Contemporary Art in Ekaterinburg (Russia).

In that project, I turned the real workers from The Sverdlovsk Wool Spinning Mill [factory of combed wool] , where the project was presented into the goddesses of Fate, and in fact they actually spun the threads …

My work has always affected the current passing through my own life and feelings. I can talk with the times and with the world, only through creativity, this is my only language.

How is the condition of women in the field of contemporary art in Russia? How about women’s social status in Russia? Have you worked on it with your art?

I do not see any major problems in relation to women in contemporary art in Russia. My example is a proof of this. In general, I myself do not often accent this question in my work and in life. Everything is very natural and harmonious. And in Russia it is often possible to see the exhibition devoted to women’s art, feminist and gender discourses. Many female artists are working with this theme.

 

Does the Artist have a role in the society? If yes, the work of art should be  accessible in its meaning. Do you consider the contemporary art conceptual and it should be easier to understand?

I think that the artist is sure to have an important role in society. They are free from politics, from the influence of someone and have to tell the truth by their creativity. It can affect different situation to change something. Art should not be easier, art is the hard work, and for the audience, too.

Art shouldn’t be only entertainment…

 

Technologies : how they influenced Art and the artist? Does the progress help the artist or put the artist in a chaos, a confused identity?

I fell in love with the video and began to experiment in this direction. This does not cause chaos, but rather help to find new ways to express my ideas. New technologies, for me as a new brush and paint, which can and should be used. It is so natural for our times, why escape from it? You can only more clearly display the portrait of our time, thanks to new technologies. I’m always interested to see the way artists who are working very closely with the topic, are developing.

 

Any plans about future?

Now, for half a year, we are working on a new major project in collaboration with the Spanish artist and poet Albert Pinya. It is the most important project in my life at the moment. It will be totally different from what we did each individually before. This is a special dialogue, deep conversation in which our worlds, realities and the difference of cultures merge into one entirely new universe. In our work, we argue on many topics, aiming to achieve absolute sincerity and openness, to find common language of art. All-consuming desire for unrestrained creativity – this is something that is within us.

Speaking about the project, you can mention the new media, as it is being developed thanks to the Internet and such direction as Mail Art, and does not depend on the distance and the points on the map where we are. For the project we will create paintings that are produced by four hands, and separately, a series of sculptures and drawings, as well as special video installations and murals. A separate unit of the project is to create a book with Russian and Spanish poetry (where, in particular, will be Albert’s poetry), which we will illustrate together. The third and equally important unit will be assembled kind of “library” of all materials, books, movies, music and other things, we exchanged during the project preparation. The work does not stop for a minute, and what comes of it, will be able to evaluate pretty soon … At first, the project will be shown in Moscow in 2014, and then we plan to bring it to Italy and Spain.

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