Donate is a community platform for mixes, podcasts, live recordings and releases by independent musicians, sound artists and collectives

Alina Snitnikova: Concept Art as Contemporary Gallery Art

Author: Jenya Stashkov, art critic

Concept art rarely becomes the property of gallery art. Usually, we imagine a concept artist as a forced labourer at some typical game studio. The average concept artist works under the close supervision of an art director and most likely does not think about “Art”. The average concept artist needs to draw forty flower icons for a “new” iteration of the “Three in a Row” game. It would be untrue to say that the works of concept artists cannot be seen in exhibition spaces. However, usually such exhibitions are part of promotional campaigns for a digital product. It rarely has to do with “Art”. But there are concept artists who reinvent this kind of fine art. Their concepts are not tied to the soulless demands of capitalist production.

Alina Snitnikova is a stunning example of an outstanding contemporary gallery concept artist. Her artistic practise blurs the boundaries between gallery art and concept art. Her art can be described as virtuosic, ascetic, realistic, stylized, minimalistic, and constructivist. Alina transforms simple artistic elements (such as a plant, a jaw, an object, and so on) into something existing at the junction of a sign, a drawing, and a meta-instruction for the meta-operation of a non-existent device. There is a lot of humour in Alina’s work. She uses the format of student exercises in academic drawing and deconstructs this format. She exposes the constructions of established images and reveals geometric archetypes common to many objects.

A complex thing consists of basic things; it’s a simple and trivial thought. However, Alina Snitnikova explores this idea from the point of view of social activism. We can decompose a complex geometric shape into lines, faces, and points. But will we be able to decompose a complex social phenomenon into millions of ordinary people? An individual is more complicated than a social phenomenon, so Alina uses a figurative series similar to a list of archaeological finds. These things exist in the post-anthropic world. They consist of a human gaze and traces of human culture. Alina Snitnikova carefully collects these artefacts and places them in the social space of a drawing, a draft concept of some element of some virtual world, and the Platonic world of pure ideas.

As Gilles Deleuze wrote: “Philosophy, art, and science are not the mental objects of an objectified brain but the three aspects under which the brain becomes subject”. Alina Snitnikova“s art reflects this judgment, which reveals the interpenetration of mediums and spheres in humanitarian production. Alina Snitnikova”s art takes care of her viewers. She gives them a painless experience of analytical reality cognition. She shows different facets of meta-objects. She conveys a positive message that the world is knowable, the world is a concept, the world is an object and a subject, and the viewer is an object and a subject.

Building solidarity beyond borders. Everybody can contribute is a community-run multilingual media platform and translocal archive.
Since 2014, researchers, artists, collectives, and cultural institutions have been publishing their work here