Kinder Album exhibits a daring participative video work, exploring the secrecies, which we would usually entrust only to the mirror. A new solo exhibition, Effective Reflection, by Kinder Album opens at Sabsay on August 24th comprising a participative video work, several watercolor drawings and a painting. Through a surreal, almost bizarre depiction, the exhibited works revolve around the negotiation of female identity and self-understanding as it takes place in the mundane encounter between woman, mirror and the world.
According to Kinder Album, who lives and works in Ukraine, the intention is to show women without any inhibitions of gender and age in the strangest, most intimate moments. “In Western society, the narrative of decline currently frames aging, the aging of the female body being no exception. The women I portray in my drawings are nude, stripped of any complexes as they don’t seem to care about these issues,” she says.
The main work of the exhibition is a video work made as a compilation of footage shot in 2016 as part of a participative happening by the artist with the same title. Here women were invited to look in the mirror in a public place while being filmed. A projection of the live footage would appear on the wall inside the SABSAY gallery as if a camera reflected the image from behind the mirror. “The situation provides a two-way communication between the participating women and the viewer who gets to witness a mystery, which was usually assigned only to the mirror”, says Masha Sabsay, the founder of Sabsay.
The mirror plays an important part in the exhibition, the artist being fascinated by the self-reflective tradition of the medium as it appears through the self-portraits of art history. Relating to this tradition, the participative video work in the exhibition appears not as the self-portrait of the artist but of random women, therefore every woman, addressing the question if womanhood can be considered universal. “It becomes up to the participating women to complete their own self-portrait”, the artist notes.
Challenging the traditional confines of the gallery space Using restroom symbols in the exhibition to indicate a public and gendered space, Kinder Album challenges the seemingly neutral space of the gallery. “I am interested in the effect of such symbols when put into another context and how the space can be manipulated that way. When you visit an art institution you are supposed to act a certain way whether you realize it or not, but how do you act when this space is suddenly altered?” she says and continues “The somewhat vulnerable act of facing the mirror typically belongs to a private space but is now exposed to the public through the gallery space and transferred to the position of the viewer”.
Kinder Album emphasizes the importance of spontaneity in her works where the viewer always has a say in the realization process. Her works are never predetermined but can go in different directions. The unusual narratives in the drawings presented in the exhibition are likewise never completed, leaving the viewer with mysteries to solve.
Kinder Album embraces her position as a female artist The subject of female identity is not new to the artist, whose work has long been associated with feminist art by critics. Recently she has decided to act out this position to a greater extent, stating that “providing an insight into how female identity is maintained and generated through representation and social interaction” is one of the main intentions of the exhibition, Effective Reflection.
Kinder Album (b. 1982) is based in Lviv, Ukraine, and works with different mediums ranging from drawing, painting and graphics to street art, photography, video and installation. In 2012 the pseudonym, Kinder Album, emerged as part of an ongoing virtual art piece of the same title. The artist describes Kinder Album as ”a collection of intentionally primitive drawings, depicting stories as if a child told them to the grown-ups.” Naked bodies are left vulnerable for the viewers ́ eyes, the main subjects being sex and death; the bare essence of life.
Her most recent exhibitions include The Trap and L á lbatros mon amour in Jujooceanija, Kotor, Montenegro both in 2016, Pinchuk Art Centre Short List Exhibition, Kiev and the solo exhibition, Anamnesis, at the Piekno Panie gallery, Lublin, Poland in 2015. Effective Reflection will be her first solo exhibition in Denmark. Sabsay opened in May 2016 and is located in Central Copenhagen. According to Sabsay, the purpose of the exhibition space is to enrich the Danish art scene with new names and practices as well as to encourage joint projects between international and local artists and curators.