Drawings, sculptures, videos, installations and performances line up in the artistic practice of Julia Zastava, diverging from one another and returning to motifs that consistently permeate the work. In her repertoire, animals, brutes and men are as familiar as animated objects, fairies, and as magical as spectral features.
If it haunts its images, it is less an expression of a fairytale fantasy than the echo of a reality in which the irrational and frightening have become the program of political and economic developments. Distortions, traumas and abstruseness provide the vocabulary for a present in which the spook rules. The face of the erratic everyday life in which the ghostly, the fairy tale and the monstrous pass into each other looks out from every Zastava piece.
The works convey a spontaneity that underlines the unpredictable and gives preference to the anecdote over grand narratives. The stories and the sceneries that unfold anew here remain enigmatic, refusing to follow the illusion of conclusive arguments. Each work, each image is singular, yet she unites a moment of insistence and a repetition of motives, that push beyond the single work without heading towards a superordinate theory or conception of reality.
In Zastava’s exhibition, the walls turn out to be a membrane through which the moods in the public space can communicate and exchange with the voice that speaks through the pieces. In this sense, it seems appropriate to describe the variety of works that Zastava unites in her exhibitions as a choir. The compilations of her works follow the aesthetics of an ensemble that is capable of expressing vulnerability as much as polyphonic protest – outlining what Bataille calls “a community of those who have no community.” There are images that do not fit into the picture, nor to the image of a community or society.