Liudmila Konstantinova Hello Reality in MMOMA

In the time of broadband and social networks we can witness reality of a single and indivisible world falling apart and creating a spectrum, where social, political, virtual, subjective and objective realities blur the borders between the valid from the invalid, the false from the true. Art can hardly help bring the scattered fragments together; it can however reconcile us with multiplicity. Konstantinova’s Hello Reality brings together stylistically disparate works so the viewer can see different facets of the same problem.

In her art, Konstantinova refers to different artistic movements, from Suprematism to Conceptualism, and to various periods in art history, including the legacy of the Soviet totalitarian epoch and new wave of the 1980s. The artist uses her homages as means of ironical conclusions, encrypted in associations. Konstantinova refers to the phenomenological reduction in the series, where deliberately innocent images accompany slang words, written in block letters. It is an attempt to correlate the signifier with the signified, to comprehend the abyss, which separates our mind from the things of the everyday.

Degenerotip series is the core of Konstantinova’s project. The works are not painted on canvas, but on floral print and barred cotton fabrics. It’s a tribute to artists like Timur Novikov and Georgy Litichevsky, as well as a symbol of a crisis, a situation where art is marginalized and the artist has to work on a bed sheet and use paint for shoes. All works are portraits of a girl wiping away her tears, made in a comic book style. The drawing is transferred onto the canvas inaccurately. Facial features are displaced, proportions are distorted. Sometimes it is unnoticeable, sometimes it is obvious. In any case, the canon is broken and the borders, separating beauty from ugliness are questioned.

In Painting for Holes, the artist returns to the aesthetics of the Russian avant-garde. An installation of colorful geometric shapes on a white wall will remind  the viewer  of Suprematist artists of the early 20th century, but the title of the series completely shifts our perspective. Inviting the viewer to place colored squares and circles in such a wall that they would cover up holes and bumps on the wall, the artist comments on the place of art in contemporary life, deliberately reducing the pathos, recalling its purely utilitarian function.

Hello Reality doesn’t aim at putting together the shaky reality, but demonstrates its many manifestations, bringing it together with art. These experiments allow us to interact with the reality. Liudmila Konstantinova boldly moves towards it with a loud Hello!


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