Like other artists, I am often asked, “Can art change the world?” I don’t believe that art directly creates revolutions, but it does inspire people to live as free individuals. For several years, I have been drifting between the post-Soviet and Western worlds, going back and forth across their borders. This began as a way to run away from the Putin regime, Soviet ruins, and my parents’ experience. It has ended up breaking down a great many of my limiting convictions.
Separated World is Victoria Lomasko’s first show with Edel Assanti. The exhibition intertwines personal and collective narratives, creating a space of free-association that unfolds like an author’s book. Lomasko moves from her characteristic methodology of documentary drawing to symbolism; from journalistic analysis of political events to poetry, reflecting subjective feelings and experiences. Shifting between memory, present and future, the exhibition combines site-specific murals, animation, intimate drawings, ceramics and poems.
A decade of intensive travel – initially within her home country in the creation of her celebrated graphic novel, Other Russias, and more recently across Europe and the United States – crystallised Lomasko’s conception of the contrasts between east and west. The panoramic murals that dominate the walls of the gallery from floor to ceiling throw these two worlds into collision: on one side, Lomasko illustrates the Russian world striving to return to the USSR or the pre-revolutionary era; on the opposite wall, a mirrored modern western world is rendered in nuanced contrast, with expensive universities and skyscrapers sat alongside abject urban poverty. Symbolic landscapes are interspersed with the artist’s poetry, musing on her journey across physical, metaphorical and political borders.
Victoria Lomasko: Separated World Private View: 6-8pm, Tuesday 14th May 2019 15th May – 15th June 2019 Edel Assanti edelassanti.com
About The Artist
Victoria Lomasko graduated from Moscow State University of Printing Arts in 2003. Lomasko draws on Russian traditions of documentary graphic art, exploring the inner workings of contemporary Russian society and its subcultures, such as Russian Orthodox believers, LGBT activists, migrant workers, sex workers, and collective provincial farm workers. Her book Other Russias was awarded the 2018 Pushkin House Best Book in Translation award. Lomasko collaborates with various non-profit human rights organizations on creating materials for publication and taught workshops in places of incarceration. Recent solo exhibitions include Truth, Power, and the Art of Resistance, Miami University Humanities Center, Oxford, Ohio, USA, 2019; Apparition of the Last Soviet Artist, GRAD, London, UK, 2018; On the Eve, Pushkin House, London, UK, 2018; Other Russias: Angry, Ellis Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University with the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 2017; Unwanted Women, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Brooklyn, New York, 2017; Bishkek – Yerevan – Dagestan – Tbilisi. Feminist Travels, Goethe-Institut, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016. Her work features in significant public collections including the Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia; Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, Poland. Lomasko lives and works in Moscow, Russia.