Dazed Digital

Moscow / Русский

Alina Gutkina

August 23, 2011

The contemporary artist who captures the screams of young Russia without a word

  • Text by Kemal Tarba

Over the years Russian contemporary artist Alina Gutkina has shown a depth of exploration into the beauty, strength and vulnerability of young men, street art and the cultural struggles of youth that has caused a wave of admiration from around the world. Having graduated from Moscow ICA and gone on to show at the White Box Gallery, New York and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art it's clear the art world are more than interested in what her installations have to say.

Her recent exhibition "Industry of Actual Boys" at the GMG Gallery showed her extraordinary ability to capture the emotions involved with the struggles of young Russia - albeit looking at the current series of events around the world it seems the talented artist is portraying more than just the unheard voice of her home country. Drawing influence from the Moscow hip hop and graffiti scenes we sat down with Gutkina to delve deeper into the world of her creativity. 

Satellite Voices: What do you believe the role of the artist to be in society?
Alina Gutkina: The artist above all diagnoses reality. Just as litmus paper. He can create his vision of the world, he can destroy usual perception of a spontaneous viewer. As of today I'm trying to implement my role via processualization, and in some cases even through colliding with the subculture in the areas you never expect. 

SV: What motivates you to create new works?
Alina Gutkina: Permanent observation and total presence. 

SV: If your life was a movie, what would be its soundtrack?
Alina Gutkina: Russian rap. If I were to choose for this very moment it would be Konstanta. Texts and programming are important. In other periods of my life: Public Enemy, Ice Cube, M.O.P, NTM and Nas. 

SV: What is the most important part of a project and why?
Alina Gutkina: The most important thing is not to lose the thread of the internal conflict in the process of creating the project. I tell myself – here is the tension, I feel it, everything is ok. In my performances I involve street guys, so the most difficult is the most interesting, to maintain mutual understanding and sort of experience it at the same time. 

SV: And what would you say has been the most difficult project and why?
Alina Gutkina:
Wow there's this one where during one of my live exhibitions participants came into the hall but the models reacted to the people around them, who were looking them quite closely. At the point where the signal for them to go backstage should have gone out it didn't. Because of the number of people speakers didn’t work. And the guys were waiting for the signal for a long time, the eternity into which they were thrown by a technical problem. What should they do? I was backstage so I couldn’t help.  But art is a living process; it's the beginning and the end. Theatre and the script end there. In my opinion, art started at the moment of occurence of this technical problem. 

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