11th February — 12th March 2022 Art Design Human Studio
Co-curated by Anzhela Popova , Tatiana Antonova
"After having a baby, my life changed so much that at first it was frightening to lose the sense of myself as a separate person with my own desires. Whenever possible I started to get out to the workshop, it saved me, but at the same time there was a feeling that I was leaving the child without a mother, taking his world away from him. I wasn't ashamed, I didn't scold myself for it, but I still felt an anxiety lump in my throat.
Every such day I made a lump of clay until the lumps ran out."
For her first solo exhibition, Alena Mukhina chose a theme that she had been working towards for several years. ADH Studio gallery space becomes a place for building an intimate dialogue with the viewer about the personal crisis after the birth of a child. In her new works, the artist, immersing herself in introspection, continues to work with clay, drawing on its plastic properties.
The search for a new identity becomes the key theme of the exhibition. The works on view help the artist rethink the social roles that already exist, as well as finding new ones that have become an important part of her identity after having a child.
Although many leading female artists work with 'female' themes, the topic of an existential quest burdened by postpartum depression has not received the attention it deserves in contemporary art. Focusing on her feelings, the artist experiences rebirth as a recollection of the former self and an aspiration for the future self.
In her attempt to explore a closed theme, Alena comes to the question - "Why am I here?" In a society where frankness can be interpreted as a manifestation of narcissism or self-centredness, it is a timid first attempt to look deep inside and answer the difficult questions for the artist honestly. The answer becomes a desire to simply "be" and that is the most important thing. In a new role, in a new life, accepting a new chapter, her little "death" and growing into a new self: I am present here. I exist.