Aleksandra Afanaseva. The edge of feelings and subjectivity

turquoise ether magazine23/03/23 20:58493

Author: Jenya Stashkov, art critic

One of the important tasks of any contemporary artist is to formulate a sensitive image of the present day. There are a large number of ways to implement this task. Some artists design hyper-conceptual art spaces. Some artists attempt to escape into the metaphor of a timeless state. Some artists focus on the endless and painful aspects of modernity. Some artists use the modes of politics and economics as important parts of their artistic language. The contemporary artist faces the responsible mission of inventing relationships with the present. The present day appears here as a potential infinity of opportunities, losses, knowledge, stupidity, frustration, and hope for enthusiasm.

Aleksandra Afanaseva is a unique example of an artist exploring the present through physicality. The physicality of her minimalist and virtuoso works is fascinating. Aleksandra gives bodies polar values. On the one hand, the body is naked and defenseless. It is twisted and distorted. On the other hand, the body has the function of a sign, a symbol, and a manifest representation of the present moment. What can we say about these bodies? These bodies most likely belong to humans. What can we say about these people and their physicality? They lack an obvious gender identity. They hide the face. They are grouped around the lower part of the body (hip joint). They are clearly under pressure.

In total, this is a very piercing and deafening image. It gathers the full extent of anxiety and uncertainty faced by the majority of the population on our planet. This image is scary and frightening, but it also carries a therapeutic and humanistic message. Aleksandra, through her paintings, asserts the value of healthy escapism and the confidence that everyone will be able to find a foothold in a world collapsing from epidemics and wars. Hypertrophied muscles are a temporary condition.

Aleksandra“s artistic world is monochrome but not devoid of shades. It”s minimalistic but full of details. Ascetic expressive means allow her to create a vivid and imaginative statement relevant to the main ideas of humanity and freedom. Her distinctive and charming style invites viewers on a journey through our common bodily subjectivity. Her paintings are instructions for survival. The voice of reason in the midst of the madness that has engulfed the whole world

The absence of details from the real world and signs of time immerse the plot of the paintings in an amazing universalist context. This is not vulgar universalism; it is a universalism reminiscent of the mindset of Buddhist axioms. This is a message about the inevitability of suffering and the need to find a futile pose for self-defense. It’s very tragic, but full of compassion.

I warmly recommend that you get acquainted with the creative universe of Aleksandra Afanaseva. She is a unique artist with a paradoxical and complex vision of reality and a subtle and sensual artistic worldview.


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