OLGA FEDOROVA'S DIGITAL DADA AND MADCAP MICROCOSMS DURING THE LOCKDOWN
Artist Olga Fedorova is a visionary spawning 3D avatars, digital dynamos and madcap microcosms that will singe your subconscious. Her dadaist virtual world full of batty characters, gender-bender compositions, bold colorways, sterile clinical environments, gas- mask wearing figures, cybernetics and spiritual machines could be relatable to current 'quarantine' sitz. Her duo exhibit at Tatjana Pieters gallery in Ghent opened just before the lockdown, but that didn't discourage her to keep creating from her Brussels apartment: 'You do not need to go to Carrera to buy expensive marble. You can create it'. This called for a 'virtual' talk with Olga, who thinks even though we might see a change in art exhibiting, there could be a huge interest in collecting digital art works, niche collaborations between health care industry and digital artists, along with many improvements in our daily routine.
Tell us how streets of Brussels look like now, and how are people coping with current situation and the lockdown?
I live in a quiet part of Brussels. Nothing much seems changed here except for people clapping at 8pm as a symbolic support to the health workers. The rest of the city was deserted for many weeks but now it is slowly coming back to normal. Traffic is back, shops are reopening. Many artists and creatives used this time as inspiration for a new great art. How are you spending your days in quarantine and what are the new things you learned from this restricted time? My routine is the same. I always work. Usually, I watch movies or read when my computer is rendering. I think the society we live in and its future and consumer society with perhaps too much information and too many objects. And we see new faces, doctors and nurses who are making many sacrifices. Some exhibitions are cancelled of course, but it is not a big deal since I can always create my 3D environment. You do not need to go to Carrera to buy expensive marble. You can create it. I am preparing for the next shows in June and September.
Do you think this situation will result in a new art category that relies on 3 D and visual effects? I think we could see more collaborations between 3D artists and the health industry and services. We should think about our future and how we can improve it. You participated in a “Bunker" - virtual exhibit project launched during the lock down. Can you tell us a little bit more about the exhibit? I was invited by Javier and Carlos from @buubuustudio. Bunker is a non-profit, artist-run project space located on the net (it is basically a videogame). The mission of the space is to provide artists and curators with a virtual space for experimentation and development. We hope this encourages people to work in this atypical space, leading to artist-curated projects and exhibitions that would otherwise not find a suitable exhibition venue during the pandemic.
In your works we are introduced to somewhat surreal, digital, amalgamating stream of consciousness and imagery with freaky aliens and dreamlike often dystopian domains. Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
My inspiration comes from what I see and what I listen to and then of course from my own history and background, from somewhere that will always be hidden, most often also to myself. During the pandemic period I have watched old psycho thrillers. Suitable for the moment. We love your cool gender-bender composites, freestyle forms and all-together trippy tableaus. What is that you want to say to the world? Everybody needs to find their own truth. You are born in Soviet Union. How did the brutalist architecture and aesthetic influence your work? I grew up in in Moscow, so the architecture of that time and place has undoubtedly left a mark in my DNA and my work, even if not consciously. What’s on your radar right now? I still have a duo show with Joachim Coucke at Taitjana Pieters gallery in Ghent. It was launched right before the lockdown.
pictures courtesy Olga Fedorova, Tatjana Pieters Gallery, Buubuustudio