I CAN DISAPPEAR.
'Ekaterina' Cultural Foundation, Moscow.
Tanya Akhmetgalieva's solo show I Can Disappear is a review of works created by the artist over the past few years. The opening pieces in the exhibition are textile 'paintings' Flicker IV and Flicker V (2015 - 2016), which once came to be Her signature works. Four of the rooms and the staircase are dedicated to video installations the artist has worked on over the past few years while on display in the remaining spaces are her most recent paintings and drawings (2019 - 2020).
All of these works are united by recurring themes that repeatedly appear in Akhmetgalieva's creative output, such as illusions, multiple layers of reality, double images, and flickering meanings. "In my works, a person seems to be living a life that is a rough draft, a sketch that has yet to develop a distinct form in future," the artist says, but in fact, for her the whole world in its actual reality is but a sketch that has yet to take shape. As the artist keeps looking for new forms and ceaselessly elaborates the contours and colours, her beloved Doppelgangers (2018) come into being while the most common and ordinary things mutate beyond recognition, receiving new representations. In her series of drawings If You Want Me To, I Can Disappear (2020) and Hotel Provisorium 13 (2020), berries grow thorns, tender lips conceal fangs, and a semi-abstract plant produces a bloom in the shape of a bird's head.
As you go through the exhibition, everything keeps changing. Appearing to be made from fragments of shattered dreams, an enchanted chamber of secrets promptly morphs into a frenetic Luna Park, where fantasy and phobias mix into a dizzying neo-surreal cocktail. Unstable reality falls apart into multiple layers.
A box of dolls' eyes, bought at a flea market in Basel, Switzerland, and later reworked into Crystal Collection #2 (2019), has inspired the artist to create a series of paintings titled Gamebreakers (2020). From the canvases in this series, eyes of various shapes and sizes, which are seemingly living a life of their own, curiously look back at the viewer.
It is not only objects that mutate but also the very perception of space. The flashes of light around the chandeliers embroidered with threads turn into the cold shimmer of glitter seen in the box of dolls' eyes (Crystal Collection, 2019). Intensifying gradually, it becomes sharp, rhythmic and relentless. This light, while being seductive in the video May be, She Would Laugh (2020), becomes hypnotizing and toxic in the video installation A Day Full of Hope (2018), before finally changing into a scorching light in A Radiant Cloud (2020). The orgiastic fascination with neon ends in a loss of signals - a total eclipse. And then it starts all over again.
The curator of the project - Katarina Lopatkina.