Ekaterina Lupanova
In my works I investigate whether a language is possible in the basis of which there is no clear structure and whether there is an alternative to the "rhetoric of clarity". For me the necessity for an alternative language comes out of the realization that the mechanics of "clarity" have been appropriated by the authorities and have become a convenient tool for lying and manipulation — simplicity is convincing. Being involved in the system of this kind of communication, we support and develop it. The only way to avoid it is to switch the mode of vision and hearing to one based on ambivalence and leak of sense. The language blur gives the freedom of expression.

I believe unintelligibility could be informative and even in conditions of lack of articulation it is possible to continue the interaction still maintaining the situation of non-clarity. For example, when hear someone's conversation in another room, you recognize the structure of speech and could guess separate words. Probably you can have the impression that you understand the whole conversation, but it would be an illusion of understanding. However, you still hear and perceive something and although the amount of received information is incomplete, it still has the potential for further communication.

My practices are related with the idea of indirect, residual, auxiliary: the archive of everyday sounds, sculptures of emptiness. I work with molding materials, packaging, noise. I make efforts to destroy the dichotomy "clear — not clear" / "basic — secondary" / "central — peripheral" / "strong — weak" and to find an opportunity to operate with that what resists designation, description and classification.

I'm looking for an answer how the image or sound which has no key to understanding works and circulates. And I would like to leave the anxiety and strong desire for artiqulation to get delight from unintelligibility.
Education

2003 — 2008
Moscow State University of Printing Arts
(painting, graphic, book design and type design)

2012 – 2015
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow|
(new strategies of art)

2013 – 2016
BAZA Institute, Moscow
(philosophy and theory of contemporary art)


Personal information

Born in 1986.
Lives and works in Moscow


Contacts

+7 916 696 35 25
lupanova.ekaterina@gmail.com
Exhibitions

solo projects:

"Next to nothing", project "Start",
CCA Winzavod, 2013

"Methodology of the exhibition space",
Nagornaya gallery, UES, 2014
(special project IV Moscow Biennale of Young Art)


selected group projects:

— "Poor Nastia", private apartments, 2011
— ICA students show, Random gallery, 2012
— "In the fresh air", ARTPLAY, 2012
— "To the unknown", The Central House of Artists, 2012
— "Love Sacred. Profane. Sort of",
PROEKT_FABRIKA, 2013
— "Practical training", Art Museum of Cherepovets, 2013
— "On the threshold of paradise", CCA Sokol, 2013
— "Taint", London GRAD:
Gallery for Russian Arts and Design, 2013
— "MMXV*", Electrozavod gallery, 2014
— "Voice", Centre RED, 2015
— "Sisters, Act I" (experimental project),
private workshop, 2016
— "In the network of form", Centre RED, 2016
(parallel program V Moscow Biennale of Young Art)
— "Sisters, Act II" (experimental project),
various locations, 2017
Selected publications
and interviews

magazine "Art in America":
article "Atlas Moscow: Good Neighbors"

magazine "The Art Chronicle":
interview in "Art-persons" section

online edition W-O-S:
audio interview

video channel CCA Winzavod:
interview from solo exhibition opening and
discussion "Sound and Things" as part of a solo exhibition

video-channel of the National University
"Higher School of Economics":
interview for the Department of Design and Contemporary Art

solo project
The methodology
of the exhibition space
site-specific installation, mixed media
The project was to pose a question what is the nature of interaction between exhibition space and the exposition. I was looking for a specific relation between the evolution of the architecture and interior of a particular gallery and the history of contemporary art in Russia.

Although Nagornaya gallery represents itself as white cub it has complicated and weird architectural elements which are results of number of reconstructions for all 35 year. While exploring history of gallery it became more obvious that interior deformation was deeply connected with changes in politic of gallery. The form responded to cultural shifts.

What I had to do was not to produce new art objects but to emphasize interior details which already existed in the space and to make visible strong connection between architectural forms and art-history. The space of gallery should become the main showpiece. What also means that the exhibition space and showpiece (gallery space) would become the same thing. The space demonstrates itself. The exposition is the exhibition space.
hall #1: the object inside is laid out with carpet — a material which often used to cover the floors in provincial galleries in Russia
hall #1: the stain on the ceiling is the trace of a leak in the bathroom in the apartment above — a reminder that the space of the gallery is located in an apartment house
hall #1: weird arches were designed especially for the Nagornaya Gallery in 1995
Art in America magazine:

At Nagornaia Gallery, located on a broad thoroughfare in Moscow's south, the crowded basement still brimmed with landscape paintings and wood carvings for sale as interior decor, but the ground floor had been given to Ekaterina Lupanova, a young installation artist. Her skeletal wooden scaffolding outlined previous subdivisions of the galleries, and her sculptures imitated the contours of removed molding. A framed story from the neighborhood paper, dated January 1976, explained how the building got its exhibition hall. Lupanova haunted the space with its own past.

documents on conferring the status of the first public gallery to the exhibition hall
the series of ten postcards with archival photos and detailed description of changes in the interior and exterior of gallery was published for exhibition
reconstruction plans gallery for 35 years
Artguide.com:

The young artist visualizes those automatically triggered, unconscious schemes and scenarios that give us the opportunity to see the world around us in the familiar system of sociocultural coordinates — the subtle mechanisms of interaction between the expectations of the audience and the signals located in space that respond to them.


experimental collective project
Sisters
ACT I

The essence of the project is collective artistic practices without clear beginning or end, obvious structure, subject or definite purpose. Our activity was not focused on results: a production of a "final show", creating an educational program, organizing of public discussions and so on. We had a place, a bit of time, a certain number of people with similar artistic background and a need to talk about things which were uncomfortable for conversation: ordinary, personal, funny, undistinguished, shameful. Things that were impossible to discuss in a generally accepted manner anymore. During our meetings we allowed the environment to produce itself naturally and to point the direction of talks without forcing.

The visiting card of "Sisters" with a photo of young Jacques Lacan. "Sisters" have now permanent membership. We invited our friends, interesting people and other guests just to meet us. Our activity was quite chamber and basically was not advertised in social networks. Therefore, each guest received the card with information. We expected that "word of mouth" as a way to spread information would allow to avoid formality and idle interest. The use of photos with young philosophers was another try to remove the label of authority from their personalities.

Artifact from the meetings of "Sisters" — a scheme of ideas explored by the project participants located in regard to the concept of "power". Each meeting was accompanied by the production of outlines, sketches, diagrams, and sometimes — small works.

Parallel to the discussions, work was carried out on some objects, which, it may be said, became the "waste rocks" of our speech practices. The idea was to interpret the received materials step by step in the process of their production. A slow and thoughtful discussion was to gradually clarify the meaning of the actions we committed. Progressively, the mechanism of speech practices led us to the crucial concept which all our activity surprisingly was rooted in — figure of "power".
Unconsciously for my work I have chosen such materials as plastic and gypsum which were formed whit plastic films. Unexpectedly, this molding process literaly illustrates how the power produces the subject. One of these objects was placed on the door leading from the room to corridor. Other objects which were produced during meeting of "sisters" were placed on the kitchen countertop.
Accidental collective work composed of artefacts collected in workshop revealed in wardrobe.

The stretched roll of film with a pattern of "marble" looks similar to film footage.
It rhymes with birch branches and rolled up photographs.

ACT II

The next act of the project "Sisters" includes the collective and anonymous blogging by basic «sisters», meetings with artists and documentation of these meetings in casual form.

The interrupted contact or the ass of my grandmother
installation, mixed media
The only way a piece of art could talk about Reality is to put the spectator into a situation of uncertainty and to leave him in confusion. Daily we find ourselves in such conditions and this is the way how we communicate with the world. Reality is given to us indirectly through the image and language. We can not face Reality directly, just as we can not say what the precise meaning of what surrounds us is. However, we can approach the reality through gaps that exposes themselves particularly in art.
Polyurethane as a material has a neutral connotation. At the same time it is capable to provide a meaning to other objects to represent them as dangerous or safe, for example. We collect waste in plastic bags and we pack corpses in the similar bags. Vegetables are grown in greenhouses, covered with polyethylene, while at the same time the plastic bag may be used to strangle a person. Plastic film with scotch tape are used to pack the stuff when moving, the same materials are used to prepare a bomb.
I'm looking for gaps through "unsafe", "unstable" materials and consistent, almost obsessive objects production from them. I use polyethylene and its derivatives: film, adhesive tape, cellophane and so on. Such materials have a set of ambiguous physical properties (elasticity, turbidity, artificiality, gloss, sterility, stickiness). These are universal materials which often are used as packaging or covering supplies. It's curious what is more important in these objects, the packing or what is inside of it. How does the image of an object that is inaccessible to the view work?

The objects consist of two layers: the inner layer - plaster sculptures, the outer layer — packaging materials. My attention is focused on how the layers interact with each other at different levels of representation.

Untitled. Birch
site-specific installation, mixed media
The object was made especially for the museum-workshop of Anna Golubkina and based on her sculpture "Birch". There are used such packing materials as foam rubber, packing film, scotch tape. At first, the object could be recognized as packed sculpture. The packing here is percepted as supporting and unwanted element which prevents the observer from seeing the Work of art inside of it. However, there is nothing inside and the observer has to accept the very "packaging" as the Work of art.

The object forces the spectator to reinterpret marginal part (packing) as original (Work of art). This situation demonstrates a radical changes in the perception of work art in the history of contemporary art. The installation "Untitled. Birch" shifts the focus from clarity to ambiguity, from the center to the periphery.

Supporting and second-rate materials as plastic packing could become no less important than "noble" as bronze. Attention could be drawn from the object to the environment (sculpture-packing-space). The maintenance could become a work of art (packaging, transportation, storage).

Frustrating communication with a piece of art connected with disappointed expectations and authoritarian, stereotyped logic, allows to identify and to analyze changes in the way of seeing.


Response is not required. Response is not received
porcelain, silicone, plastic, foam rubber, cellophane, scotch tape (work in progress)
The main type of rhetoric in the world at moment is clearness. The success depends directly on ability to present idea clearly. Legibility have credibility. "Language of distinctiveness" is an effective tool which was appropriated by the authorities and now intelligibility had become a synonym for lies. Ambiguity is the only language that has not yet been discredited and could be reliable for discription and communication. In this project I work with a different types of indeterminacy: visual, sonal, tactile.
My method is based on work with insecure and unstable meanings of materials, sounds and photos. For human being the recognition machine is inborn and works automatically, regardless of what is in front of it. Once the mechanism has determined something, it begins to believe in it. So is it possible to hold on the phase of indistinguishability and try to communicate at this level without trying to achieve a terminal clearness?

The negative of “The Shrine of Turin”, with which image of Chris appeared on it.
Photo was made in dark room. The noise on it is partly similar to image of “Trinity” by Andrey Rublev.

solo project
Next to nothing
sound installation, mixed media
This installation represents the research about everyday audio-environment. One part of the exposition consists of four records. This is a sound archive of household noises. All sounds are absolutely familiar to anyone: a sound of water in tubes, a sound of creaking parquet, etc. Another part of the exposition includes housewares and everyday items such as plastic and paper bags, zinc buckets, foil, a bowl, a clothes rack, a fan, a list of paper. The audience is invited to interact with these objects to exact some sounds from them.
Everyday life is a main subject of interest for me. A daily regimen, habits, liabilities – social complex which forms once and for a long time. Moreover, this complex largely determines one's consciousness and shapes one's personality. At the same time, that kind of noise is completely indistinguishable due to it's habitualness. As a result, this noise is totally ignored by us. But is this noise is less important than, for example, food we eat? In fact the consumption of noise is very similar to the any other consumption. Therefore noise undoubtedly deserves attention. In this project i'm trying to change my point of view and to bring common sounds back to visible range and to give them back their importance.

Untitled
site-specific installation, mixed media
The main idea of the project was to find out how artists could cope with the space that have never been before used for exhibiting contemporary art and what kind of art could be produced in the interaction with the space far from the white cube. We were proposed to make an exhibition in the giant space which recently was leased for corporate events. The interior was typical: a cheap impersonal western-style renovation. My attention was drawn to the floor. Obviously it was made with lots of love. It had a complex geometric pattern and consisted of two types of linoleum (wood and marble chips). So, the floor became the basis of my work. My installation grew out of the floor, factually it prolonged the floor out of plane into the space. As a result I had a room of strange proportions and shapes. For it decoration I used the same materials of which the floor was made of. There was a feeling of disorientation in that room as it was not easy to understand where the top and bottom were.

The issue was about public spaces in Russia due to they look quite specific. Why does they look that way? How people use to decorate them and why in this way? What is the reason that the attitude towards private space is so different from the approach to the public spaces. What kind of social mutations the cult of consumerism causes in society in Russia? My aim was to mimic the environment. It was interesting for me to evaluate the principles how the interior of this kind could be produced. I wanted to use these methods and by using them to bring the space up to the extreme point. It could probably help to understand the mechanisms that are involved in the creation of this kind of space and the reasons why interiors look that way.


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