A lecture by the Gentle Women art group took place as part of DOCA-talk online. Evgenia Lapteva and Aleksandra Artamonova told students of the Faculty of Design about their projects, the influence of self-isolation on artistic communities, and the development of performance practices under the conditions of social distance.
At the online meeting, the artists showed their works created in 2020. The first project, Personal Christmas, is a performance. A lonely heroine in a shiny outfit and with a Christmas tree on her shoulder wanders around the city in search of her happiness.
The Personal Christmas project breaks up the idealized picture of the New Year holidays. The project actualizes the topic of loneliness, which is often reflected in the projects by Evgenia Lapteva and Aleksandra Artamonova.
As emphasized by the members of the art group, they intentionally create absurd situations and hyperbolized images of characters in their performances. Video documentation gives the viewer the feeling of being in someone’s dream. The heroine of the Personal Christmas performance can hardly be met in real life. However, watching what is happening from the outside gives the viewer a new experience.
Carotid Artery, the second project demonstrated by the artists at the meeting with the students of the Faculty of Design, is a two-channel video installation.
The first video shows a young woman with amber beads trying to free herself from them and break the thread. The second video shows landscapes of the Curonian Spit shot from a car.
The viewer can understand the meaning from the context of the place. More than 90% of the world’s amber deposits are concentrated in the Kaliningrad Oblast. For a tourist, amber is just a souvenir. However, it is a special symbol for the locals. Amber is a reminder of many dramatic events. Thus, trying to free oneself from amber beads is a way of getting rid of the past.
Reflecting on the future of performance practices under the conditions of social distance, the artists foresee a change in human relations after the end of the pandemic. Interaction with lack of bodily contact will leave an imprint on our behaviour in the future.
New ways of communication will affect performance art, which is focused on contact with people. However, that will also open up new opportunities for experimentation and exploration of a new type of relationship.
Kristina Danilina, Agency for Relevant Communication students’ business incubator
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov