Lana Stalnaya is the author of the series of sophisticated and thoughtful paintings about the body memory. “The ambassador of the intellectual erotism” and the sensitive empathic approach to the nature of the human soul, and now, of the meanings of its existence.
Lana, today we are going to talk with you about the new series of your works. So, first of all, I’d like to start from the very beginning. Your works have always contained, as it seems, a lot of your personality, it was absolutely clear. You yourself were quoted as saying that it is “a living through” of your personal emotional experience. In your new series of works you are examining the very broad concepts of “doom”, and predestination (or its absence). I can hardly call it personal. Please, tell us, how has this transition happened?
Well, this is probably exactly where I’d like to start. My works have always been really personal, I was telling the spectators how the work inside a human is expressed through the body. Living through the personal dramas, ups and downs, love and how it’s passing away. I was interested in it. To look at these breakdowns as if I’m sitting at the table for experiments.
At some point, it seems that I have outlived the need to talk about the personal, maybe I have overgrown that. It seemed that this was the only first slice, it was too simple, like duckweed on water. It became important for me to take a look at what had been deeper in there. To observe larger-scale processes, to build hypotheses.
Have I got right that you mean from something typical for our earth living to the superior “divine”?
Yes, I also have a feeling that I jumped over from the level of stage workers right to the director. You know, I do like to compare the universe with the theatre. After all, let’s answer to ourselves, if “all the world is a stage and all the men and women are merely players”, where is the script? Does anyone know the words at least? And how should all this end? Where’s the cafeteria indeed?! (Laughs)
Let’s talk about the paintings, it seems we have already come very close to the specific imageries.
I would start with an imagery illustrating exactly this “blindness before the script”. Well, this is probably the only work, where the main character is a human.
That is, here we are still at the level of a stage worker. But what happens next?
The main characters of the series are not the people, but the angels – “The Feres”. The feres are the helpers of a human, his sureties and prayers before God. And this is the point where a lot of questions arise: do they know this scenario? Do they know where we are going, do they know the way? Do they walk this way confidently or cautiously? Or are they the same ordinary people, who turned out to be the assistant directors within one successful (on unsuccessful) round?
Please, tell me, do you realize the reason why you need it? What do you want to say? What do you want to share with your audience? Are these questions about the standard system of faith, or its confirmation?
Probably, I would say these are the questions, which create the hypotheses so strange and unacceptable, that the appropriateness of habitual judgments becomes obvious.
In fact, I’m answering the questions about my life as well. Why is it like that and not like this, what for? These are the questions of a stage worker (not even an actor, the actors have education, so they understand a little, at least) to a director, the supreme intelligence.
Here they are carrying the table for 13 persons, which weighs 400 kg, to the stage. And I try to guess – what for? They do not know that we are getting up the Lord’s Supper, the Jesus is coming now, and we are about to start.
You can always go back to this movement from the reverse, very interesting strategy. So, it appears that you show the viewer such strange hypotheses so that he says: “No, it can’t ever be! Everything is OK, we are being led with a confident hand, don’t panic!”
Exactly! Let’s take a look at another piece of art.
This is exactly what we are talking about. I thought once, what if the angels are not the seasoned and wise in experience adults at all? Perhaps, they are just the children, who are playing their children games. As, you know, like with the toy kitchen. Or to establish the relationships, to play a lot of scenarios over and over again.
Yes, here I really want to say, enough is enough! Let it be as it used to be!
I mean it’s the working option! Let’s discuss one more piece of art. It was the first in the series and, perhaps, we should have started with, but we’re going to end our dialogue with it.
Now, I’m asking myself the question with which It all started. Are the angels of human nature? By the way, there is no such reference in any source, neither religious nor mythological. It’s only an assumption made in one of the periods that they must be human-like in order to inspire the people’s trust. So, if we assume that they used to be people before one day, then how did they become angels? Do the wings hurt? Do they grow up pushing the ribs apart or are the bones of the shoulders are being transformed?
It sounds like a new area for examination! Another field for experiment?
Yes, this is something I would also like to speculate about, and I think I can already see the shape of this study.
We will be looking forward to watching it! Lana, thank you very much for this fascinating conversation!