Ksenia Yurkova, Spinebone Soup and Stuffed Rabbits
Some years ago, I began refusing to eat meat entirely. My objection being based neither on ecological nor ethical grounds, I could only guess at what mechanism of a personal eschatology drove my alimentary choice. The nucleus of Spinebone Soup and Stuffed Rabbits is a reflection on the nature of food politics; the transition of biopolitics into necropolitics; the establishment of ethics as a product of dominant ideologies; and the role of trauma, memory, and speech in the shaping of consumer choice. The Siege of Leningrad served as a point of departure. For me, it is not some speculative episode out of an abstract past, but a humanitarian collapse which directly animated my anamnesis. It is a unique, timeless space behind the looking glass, ever-present, casting a shadow across generations. The Siege is an indelible genetic memory, a trauma, a corporeal imprint. It is revealed in sophisticated figures of omission, in the failure to utter, in postures of violence. The food trauma is not only the remembrance of hunger; it is the horror of extreme survival. Forced cannibalism drives destructive memory and legitimises dehumanisation by the power apparatus. Heroic status is bestowed upon those who, deprived of words, are thereafter eaten. The multiple languages of my work conflate different ideologies. References to the archival representation of plenitude neighbour the familiar tropes of consumerism. The nourishing component of this general approach is reduced to a representation of a shell, a symbol, a signified without a signifier: to a speculative cookbook of words.
Ksenia Yurkova (b. 1984, Russia) is an artist living between St. Petersburg and Helsinki. She works primarily with photography, video, and text. Her main focus is lingual communication: the varieties of its substance, the possibility of conversion, its mythological aspect, stereotyping (the question of personal and political self-identification and identification by others), and problems of memory and effects. Coming a long way from political and cultural journalism, Yurkova settled in individual artistic and research practice, which affords useful critical distance for observation and working with contemporary issues. Her approach is based on methods of language appropriation, over-affirmation, self-reflection, and self-criticism through ironic components inevitably added to the most serious of matters. She has taken part in numerous shows and festivals worldwide and has released several artist’s books. Her works are contained in private collections in Russia, Germany, France, and Finland.
Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
pl. Szczepański 3a
26.04.2019, 6 pm
6 PLN / 12 PLN