White Space Gallery is pleased to present a new project by Olga Chernysheva entitled ‘Emerging Figures’, a project in video, photography and drawing. Chernysheva’s work typically show characters from Central Russia who live the most trivial lives and who would never make it to the level of news. None of their activities merit sensationalist exposure – they could be described as doing things that are just ignored by the TV and media. However her focus on their lives, transforms their status and our perception of them.
‘Emerging Figures’ shows people absorbed in particular, and everyday, activities: sweeping a road, moving along a street, riding a scooter in Red Square or collecting items in a park for recycling. Do they reflect the changing state of Russian everyday life or is she recording the mundane or the forgotten moments which constitute the substance of life itself?
In her attention to their activities, Chernysheva manages to capture people in moments which are as fragile as they are ephemeral: an elderly women in the park in the evening, a girl learning to skate on the ice of the frozen pond, a disabled man walking along a deserted street using a box instead of a crutch. Ordinary experiences become extraordinary as the viewer realises their own presence as observers and their complicity with the artist’s vision.
The exhibition will also include the video film ‘Seven Exercises’; ‘Kind People!’, a series of black and white photographs from a snowy street market in Russia, and her drawings from the ‘Figures’ series which are based on images from her videos and photos. This disparate material is united by a particular time and place: life in Central Russia, 2004 -2005.
Olga Chernysheva (b. 1962, Moscow) graduated from Moscow Cinema Academy, and from Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She was selected to represent Russia in the Russian Pavilion of Venice Biennale in 2001. Olga Chernysheva’s work has been included in the following recent international exhibitions: “Sites”, Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art 2005 (at the Moscow House of Photography), “Contemporary video from Russia”, video programme at The Photographer’s Gallery, London, 2005; “The Happiness Zone”, The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, 2004; “Berlin – Moscow/Moscow-Berlin”, State Historical Museum, Moscow, 2004 and Martin – Gropius- Bau, Berlin, 2003; “Photobiennale 2004”, Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; “Watch Out!”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, 2004; “System of Coordinates”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2004.
Her works are in the collection of the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, MOMA, NY as well as in many other corporate and private collections.