Katia Lyubavskaya | Not Applicable

Katia Lyubavskaya © courtesy of the artist

What do we need to know about works you are exhibiting at Not Applicable?

In the artwork ‘You may look at the back of your head’ you can see an allusion to acrostic, beloved trick by Lewis Carroll. But I did not use it in its classical form. The title of the artwork is a combination of the words from the quotation showed in bold. 

‘Alice through the looking glass’ series, my magic mirrors, usually accompanied by the following description: 

Slowly plunging into sleep while reading a book, already almost unconscious, the words break out of context and reunite in new phrases. Imagination changes the picture to a new meaning, associations get stuck in reflection, the portal through the looking glass is open - good night and magic dreams.

The original artwork was made specially for the group show ‘Stranger stories’ which took place in Myth Gallery in Saint-Petersburg. 

The artwork ‘Motherhood’ is a very feminine piece that explores  how a woman changes after she becomes a mother. Thornless cactus as a metaphor for physical transformations with softening all parts of the body, preparing to give birth to a child, then continuing with emotional changes-tolerance, tenderness and tranquility. 


How do you interpret the term ‘Not Applicable’?

It was a reboot year for humanity. Our previous life with its speed and values is not applicable any more. So the name of the exhibition turned out to be prophetic.


How do you choose the themes in your works? 

I explore a wide range of subjects, from fairy tales to post-Internet culture, as well as womanhood and other current issues. I can say I create witty messages about everything that surrounds me. Due to the pandemic we spent all the year at home and my future personal show will mostly contain recognizable home objects or hints of them but looking different as a result of slightly madness.


Which artists have been your big influences?

I am mostly inspired by Japanese contemporary arts and culture. I can single out several artists with naive aesthetics: Masanao Hirayama, Kobayashi Chiaki and Ken Kagami for example. As well as I adore the duet Magma and toys by Dollssan and Kataoka Meriyasu.

Katia Lyubavskaya © courtesy of the artist

What’s integral to your work as an artist?

To work on clarity of concept. The message in the artwork should be definitely readable and match perfectly with the title. These make the difference between craftsman and artist. I can’t let myself make an inexplicable form called  'the untitled’.


What do you dislike about the art world?

Ageism and maternal wall. 


Are there any strong realizations during thepandemic? 

Well, I finally tried new materials, one new genre and released merch. 

Soon after the lockdown we all went online and first time in my life I worked with digital - I made a video ‘Incertitude’ based on a sketch of an installation of physical objects which I made not long before the pandemic. It explores the feeling of uncertainty that is spreading all around the planet and the artwork reflects our feelings about future like never before. The classical Greek Order, a symbol of stability, presented as columns are floating in the air without fulcrums. Nothing is predictable now. We have unstable structures on the border of time. You can see it on Youtube.

Another recent project is ‘Design zero’, which contains big wall objects and a collection of table presse-papier – a merch for the obdnnie.ru online shop. All the objects are ovals like a shape of zero and made of plexiglass and transparent polymer gel. You can find the project on my Instagram.

Katia Lyubavskaya © courtesy of the artist

What is your biggest goal for 2021?

To welcome my second child in May and to hold a personal exhibition soon after, in mid summer. It’s going to be quite a tough time.


Inspire us with a poem

Oh, this one is my favourite: 

Dreamland by Lewis Carroll

When midnight mists are creeping,
And all the land is sleeping,
Around me tread the mighty dead,
And slowly pass away.
Lo, warriors, saints, and sages,
From out the vanished ages,
With solemn pace and reverend face
Appear and pass away.
The blaze of noonday splendour,
The twilight soft and tender,
May charm the eye: yet they shall die,
Shall die and pass away.
But here, in Dreamland's centre,
No spoiler's hand may enter,
These visions fair, this radiance rare,
Shall never pass away.
I see the shadows falling,
The forms of old recalling;
Around me tread the mighty dead,
And slowly pass away.

See more work katialyubavskaya.com

Follow on Instagram @magic.yes


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