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Exhibitions: Russian witches

The date of the: 11.06.2019-26.06.2019

Plase: Centerpoint, Im Lohnhof, 8, 4051, Basel

The organizers: Centrepoint and of The Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin

About the Exhibition:

In Russian language the word “witch” (“ведьма”) originates from the verb “to know, to be in charge” and also “to tell”. New generation of Russian artists Lyudmila Baronina (1988, Poland), Alina Glazoun (1988, Russia) and Ustina Yakovleva (1987, Russia) work with different types of modern mythology and knowledge, which is represented in different media from graphics to site-specific installation. Artists will create the intervention inside the historical Basel building and ordinary corridor and transform the space into the “transition tunnel” where contemporary aesthetics, camp, rituals and medieval mythology fuse together.  Technological age provides lots of sources for the discoveries and knowledge creation but human beings are still fascinated with the matters which can be perceived as “magical”.  These beliefs coexist with the scientific approaches and high-tech environment. Artist will explore different aspects of the contemporary cult, mythology and rituals.

Lyudmila Baronina creates the special graphical series for the “financial capital” of Europe and creates new world currency. Playing with today’s money cult, the artist interfuses European significant cultural symbols with mythological symbols and signs. In her universe, Baronina appeals to the Confucius’s phrase “Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws” and creates a new currency of signs and symbols.  Ustina Yakovleva creates her graphical work “Love” through the series of writing rituals, akin to mantra or meditation exercises. The artist uses the automatic writing, so common in spiritualistic practice when a text or image are produced involuntarily as the subject’s attention is ostensibly directed elsewhere. Ustina is fascinated with natural, organic forms and shapes that are produced by “subconscious” movements. In her sculptures, Ustina reflects the spirits of nature and those powers that are far from the human understanding but shaping the environment of life. Trying to get in touch with them, the artist uses the traditional technics of sewing, decorating, bead weaving that appeared in different cultures to produce the cult or ritual cloth or objects. Alina Glazoun works with “camp” as a part of our current reality and as a contemporary idol that one can have in our consumerist society.

In her artistic practice Alina works with rituals and fairy tales that exist and surround children but then mutate in adult life and live like a camp cult. Belief in the sparkling beauty of the plastic treasures today remind the archaic cults and ceremonies that were conducted and still exist in tribes.  Artist will create the altar inside the corridor which will be full of the fused and mixed together found objects that are organized into the new cult object. Artist’s material is taken from the supermarkets and shops which tend to make our life better and with small “totems” establish a better life.


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Lyudmila Baronina
Alina Glazoun
Ustina Yakovleva