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Home: Discovering Absence. Yana Dimitrova and Sasha Rudensky
October 11, 2011 - October 31, 2011
The exhibition Home: Discovering Absence. Yana Dimitrova and Sasha Rudensky brings together two women artists who challenge the meaning of home as defined by the geographical and emotional distance from the place where they were born. Dimitrova came from Bulgaria, Rudensky is from Russia they both feel the need to re-think what that place of where they grew up means to them now that they are living in US. They feel the need to question their feeling of cultural and historical belonging, and how this is relevant to their current status of being Americans. The mediums of photography, painting and oral history help these artists to construct the missing connection to home.
For the project titled AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (2009) Dimitrova asked the members of her immediate family to recite a poem by the celebrated Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov, titled “I am Bulgarian”. To highlight the poem’s patriotic message Dimtrova used the canon of court portraiture such as an oval frame and a frontal point of view to create life size portraits of her family. Depicted in this realistic manner but on an abstract background, these people appear to convey happiness and wellbeing. By bringing the elements of performance into this project the artist poses the question of the meaning of Bulgarian heritage, which her family fashions for her in America. Dimitrova has discovered that the idea of home has been altered by a passage of immigration and that the home still serves to define what is lost and what has been found through this process of cultural transplantation.
Rudensky+B94 body of work Novij Mir (New World) 2009-Present is a series of portraits and interiors photographs, which are taken in Eastern Europe. The artist has photographed young people of her age who are living through the neo-liberal changes, which started at the time she left in 1990. Rudensky focuses on that state of waiting in which she finds her subjects to perpetually exist. The images convey emotions of longing, and also convey the expectations, which are never quite fulfilled. In contrast her images of home interiors are overloaded with household appliances and consumer goods. Rudensky captures the essence: of how the neo-liberal life-style has not brought an emotional wellbeing. By her use of a medium format camera and digital printing Rudensky conveys her personal separation. This is her home, which she never really knew and sees how it exists now.
Home: Discovering Absence. Yana Dimitrova and Sasha Rudensky is the part of the series Borough to Borough: Artists in Libraries that has been curatated by Yulia Tikhonova and Brooklyn House of Kulture that has been done in conjunction with and with the support of the Brooklyn Public Library network. This series gives artists the opportunity to work within communities and to promote art that enhances public good. The exhibition is on view at Kings Highway pubic library until October 31, 2011
Yana Dimitrova was born in 1983 in Yambol, Bulgaria. She graduated from the School of Fine Arts ‚ÄúAcd. Iliya Petrov‚Äù in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2002 and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia (USA) in 2006 (BFA) and 2008 (MFA). Her most recent exhibitions have been in Berlin, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta (USA) and Bulgaria. www.yanadimitrova.com
Sasha Rudensky was born in 1979 in Moscow, Russia. She received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2008 and her BA from Wesleyan University in 2001. She was the recipient of the Ward Cheney Memorial Award from Yale University in 2008. Rudensky is currently a Visiting Professor of Art at Wesleyan University. www.sasharudensky.com