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Alumni News |
Feb, 2020

Maria Agureeva at SPRING/BREAK Art Show curated by Anna Evtiugina and Alina Kryukova

Untitled. 2019. Plastic, burnt wood, synthetic fabric, mixed media. 77 х 58 х 33

SPRING/BREAK Art Show
March 3-9 2020
625 Madison Ave New York

Booth 1156

a-s-t-r-a is pleased to announce its participation at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in New York on March 3-9, 2020 with a special project.

The project Moebius Loop, curated by Anna Evtiugina and Alina Kryukova, features works by Dima Hunzelweg, Maria Agureeva, and Graham Akins.

There is a God-shaped hole in human consciousness, where the divine had always been but had disappeared, leaving an emptiness behind.”
– Jean-Paul Sartre

Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside, and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.
– Stephen Hawking

Every human is a microcosm that tries to comprehend and mirror a macrocosm that is the Universe, at the same time rendering an explanation for it in course of an infinite reflection resembling a Moebius loop. It represents a void that invariably requires an ever-busy filling and exploration. This void that we all have to carry inside ourselves is ambivalent. On the one hand, it is a black hole that always requires filling, always craves for more. Sip by sip, it drains our lives, sucking all the energy of creation dry. This process results in invincible entropy, an eternal nothing. On the other hand, it is a bridge connecting a person with the Platonic world of ideas, a world of awareness and understanding that we are more than what we consume, much more than this hole of overconsumption.

Simulacra, illusions disguised as facts of real life, numerous interpretations, Deleuzian copies, and total replication are the toils of the 21st century we got caught ourselves in. Still, the dread before the Universe fills our minds. It can be a reflection of this beautiful gigantism with all its ambitious plans and futuristic dreams. Nevertheless, the attractiveness of the unknown, the urge to interact and the fear of silence, make a quest for self-awareness a new Odyssey, possibly opening up a new reality for new humans. The energy of human life and consciousness is a creative force that fights entropy, chaos, decay and death, this overflowing amount of the dead, which should be put to an end.

Exploring how outer ‘less’ requires inner ‘more’, Dima Hunzelweg’s extremely eye-catching and skin-friendly wall objects are results of an extremely meticulous and time-consuming working process. He expands the boundaries of art and media both literally and metaphorically. In terms of form, his paintings transcend the limits of a flat pictorial image. Through the use of wider stretchers, they morph into wall objects blurring the distinction between painting and sculpture, between 2D and 3D dimensions.

Driven by such questions as how many restrictions can be put on a human body by fashion and entertainment-related industries and how natural and artificial can coexist in a framework of a single object, Maria Agureeva creates enigmatic and painfully sensual works of art. She explores the relationships between the human body and nature, between real and fake. Can the surrogate substitute the ‘real’ if we are not able to distinguish between what is real and what is not anymore? The lines are getting blurred, and nothing seems intentionally artificial and we take it as a norm.

Graham Akins deals with our complicated relationship to reality, simulation, and how technology mediates the depiction of the external world. Using photography, video, 3D modeling and sculpture, the artist creates large multimedia installations. They play with notions of objecthood, the uncanny valley, our understanding of otherness and contemporary methods of image-making. Recent projects include investigations into the aestheticization of trash, experimental wildlife documentaries that explore the quality of our relationships to other minds and found object sculptural video combines that abstract materials into simulated forgeries of themselves.

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