Interview with Katia Lyubavskaya

 You work with the concept of post-truth. How do you see this concept around you? What is it that draws you to it?

The world of post-truth is not just a simulative copy of the real world, but a hyper-saturated version that seeks to surpass it.

This is about media and politics, where the facts have lost power and turned reality into fake, which is accepted as true. Let us imagine that the perception of the objective world exists by the same rules. While alteration of elements and scales is a lie, the image remains recognizable and gives a delusive sense of truth - the victory of emotions over facts. This almost surreal world attracts me by its distorted reality, filled with anxiety and frustration.

What is the significance of synthetic hair for you? How does it play into the idea of an anti-monument? How does it relate to femininity?

Since ancient times, it was believed that secret power was hidden in female hair. It was represented by peculiar antennas that connect a woman with space and energy of elements. Cutting the woman’s hair could deprive her of strength. The same way as the power of words is used to distort facts in media, I use the power of hair, archetype, lying deep in the subconscious, to manipulate the perception. This literally soft, anti-monumental material revives objects so you want to touch them. In the era of cyberspace subject of tangibility is more relevant than ever.

Katia Lyubavskaya/Floral, 2017

Katia Lyubavskaya/Floral, 2017

Your work is often playing with the sensory experience of the viewer. How do you think your work translates to online viewers seeing it digitally? What are the differences, in your experience, of presenting your work physically in an exhibition setting or a part of a digital exhibition?

My works are single objects made with a completely understandable visual language and they send a clear message to the viewer. The only problem in the digital presentation of such objects, in my opinion, is sometimes the incorrect perception of scale and size of them. In my certain case, this is not a problem, since size distortion is the part of the concept, which I described above. Of course, there is the same difference between digital and physical exhibitions as between live conversation and chat in messenger - the meaning is the same, but perception is different. Anyway to be presented digitally is the part of contemporaneity - this just in.

Either social, political or individual and intimate, what kind of tool is art for you? What’s its purpose for you if we should admit that art has some purposes?

Art is always a reflection of time and has a purpose to fix it. I feel the reality in the way I show it through my works, so it is individual. In addition to surrealistic mood, I also respond to some important issues such as the role of women in the world. Some of my works are about that and serve as reminders - the more there are, the closer we are to the goal.

You’re an artist based in Moscow. How do you feel about the art environment there? What are some of the challenges you’re facing in Moscow as an artist? What are some of the benefits?

Now in Russia we are experiencing the rise of young contemporary art, as a result of which there are many exhibition venues, festivals and events, gathering a large audience. The digital segment is developing very actively. There are many online projects, exhibiting and selling art works, which shows that there is a demand for art and it is the benefit. The artist in Russia has no specific challenges to face, they are probably the same as in other countries.

This interview is a part of our Public Support section, dedicated to our Kickstarter supporters.