Digital autocracy in the work of Nata Yanchur

Afisha.London magazine continues to talk about interesting artists, poets, singers and other creative people who deserve attention. The hero of this material is Nata Yanchur, a Belarusian artist who works with analog and digital images, mixing traditional and modern techniques.

 

Nata Yanchur was born in 1990 in Minsk, Belarus. She has degree in Art from the Faculty of Contemporary Art, High School “Sreda Obuchenia”, has attended workshop of Avdey Ter-Oganyan, workshop of Ivan Gorshkov. Has Bachelor degree of history and social sciences, Belarusian State University. The sphere of her professional interests is digital and analog painting.

Nata works with visual images of contemporary painting, mixing abstraction and figurative art, painting and graphics, traditional and modern techniques, the real and the immaterial. Her artworks thought provoking what actual and fresh images might look like.

 

 

The artist uses the aesthetics of digital painting, its simplicity and ease, which allow you to consider the essence of the visual image, to determine the degradation edges of a holistic picture.

The author manipulates photographs of real objects, supplementing them with pictorial elements, creating an image that is flexible and capable of all kinds of transformations. Possibilities of digital painting and various aspects of the artistic image manifested and the digitized image of a material object becomes part of the artist’s palette. Getting into a new context, a new environment, intertwining with other lines and forms, loses its original designation and plays a new role in artwork.

The artist focuses on visual inconsistencies, memes, strange shapes and lines, the destruction of the orthodox composition, experiments with forms and gestures searching of relevant means of expressing modern visual aesthetics.

 

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Nata Yanchur, Endless Exhibition, digital painting, 2021

 

Nata’s digital paintings expose hidden qualities of traditional painting. Grading familiar techniques, playing with ironic-realistic elements and traditional aesthetics, she simply brings to the fore the result of artistic activity — a vivid, memorable, quasi absurd image.

According to an art critic, a senior editor at Moscow Art Magazine and aroundart.org Egor Sofronov, her research-based project Infinite Display, or Overproduction, attention, value: image economy, 2021–2022, combined reading political economy and stamping images, raised questions of machinic repetition and levelling of human autonomy by attention-targeting algorithmic capture, in a configuration that localized the effects of digital means of production on cultural environments under dictatorial regimes of surveillance and repression, such as the ones in Belarus and Russia. This significance might have been evoked by her digital painting with Internet-special image artefacts and crudely graphic figuration that contaminated the traditional medium. Whereas such aesthetic was recognizable in global contemporary art, by being situated in these geographies, it obtained a specificity by indexing post-socialist transformation (and, arguably, political reactions that overlap it).

 

Nata Yanchur, Endless Exhibition, digital painting, 2021

 

Now abandoning her home once again (as do millions of Russians and Belarussians), Yanchur hopes to task herself in a development of newly resonant formal vocabulary, if not striking imagery, in order for the experimental art practices from Belarus and Russia to continue, now in diaspora, potentially giving back to world conversation.

 

 

Egor Sofronov, an art critic, a senior editor at Moscow Art Magazine and aroundart.org

 

 


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