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Diana MACHULINA (1981)

Victory, 2008

Oil on canvas

This work with first take can be considered very realist. It is from a series depicting female athletes receiving their medals for their performances. The subject appears to be initially a joyful and triumphant athletic celebration.

Aside from the artist’s mastered skill, the style and colors of this painting evoke the Soviet realism canvases especially the brownish background recalling the community apartments of this period.

In closer observation, the spectator notes details that clash with the overall ambience of the canvas: flies on the medal ribbons worn by the young girls. The fly motif and fly swatter arise from the “Old/New” canvas series. It is a direct reference to works by the Conceptual Moscow artist Ilya Kabakov, in which the fly, symbol of filth and wandering, was a recurrent theme in her oeuvre. Furthermore, they reference the artist’s living conditions in the Soviet Union during the 1960-1980s.

The fly image, seeking sugar, illustrates the inevitable path of each human generation towards a better future, despite the understanding one remains attached, even imprisoned, to their own past. By consequence, one has the tendency to repeat the same mistakes, such as flies readily going towards the flypaper trap.

A vein of absurdity and dark humor is a constant trait of Russian culture, since Gogol’s literary works during the 19th century, farcical writings and plays by the OBERIU group headed by Daniil Kharms and narrative installations by Ilya Kabakov.

  • Articoli:  1
  • Riferimento Expertissim : 2015100266