Thursday, June 7, 2012

Asya Reznikov Makes a Splash!—Studio visit with MaDora Frey—May 14, 2012

I first saw Asya Reznikov's work at her show "Baggage Claim" at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery a couple of years ago and was familiar with her work in installation form. Upon entering, I got a refresher - beginning with her ambitious piece comprised of a 15' tall monolith of
television monitors. An endless escalator traversing several of the monitors making up this artwork, was both memorable and captivating. Next, Asya showed me a wall-mounted piece. In this work, she can be seen traveling, alternating between states of transparency and opacity, depending on whether she is in between destinations or has arrived somewhere. These works typify the themes that interest her most: travel, language, culture and the shifting of identity that results from growing up in different countries.

Asya's new work was what I would like to select for the forthcoming tART exhibiton at AIR@Renaissance. Curious about how the demands of recent motherhood had impacted her studio practice, I was happy to hear she just finished a solo show at Susquehanna University and has
remained prolific in her art making. When I asked about new work, Asya produced some photographs taken during her pregnancy.  My favorite is an outdoors summer scene with a swimming pool in the foreground, and grass rolling-up to a house in the distance surrounded by blue sky. It is bucolic—except for the strange something in the pool. It takes me a moment to realize it is not a Loch Ness rising from the water but her late-term belly protruding as she floats on her back.  We laugh about
this image. She shows me two other images taken near the end of her pregnancy. Again they possess a similar quirkiness. Although these works are still images, they share the same expression and narrative
quality as her video work.  The invisibility of the subject conveys a state of uncertain identity, and describes the uncanny feeling that results.