b. 1988 in Vladimir region, russia
lives and works in Berlin, Germany
Artist, filmmaker, researcher, curator and activist.
They finished Master and Bachelor in Fine Arts in Experimental Film and New Media Class of prof. dr. Hito Steyerl in the University of Arts Berlin.
Their artistic works were shown in Kunstraum Kreuzberg (Berlin), European Month of Photography (Berlin), Hybrid Bienniale (Dresden), Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Photography Museum (Berlin), Floating university (Berlin), Calarts (LA).
Their artistic and research practices reflect socio-historical dynamics such as the formation of national narratives and collective memories, the role of the authoritarian state in the life of an individual, and the (non)visibility of violence.
They co-curated and co-organized exhibitions and public programs in nGbK (Berlin), Kunsthalle Baden-Baden and outside of institutions.
FULL CV ON REQUEST
My artistic practice is research-based and ecompasses a variety of time-based media. In my works, I point out and critically investigate issues which flood and form our everyday life. I am especially interested in how history, information and images influence perception, lend support to narratives, and leave their imprint in (individual and collective) behavior and memory.
Underlying my artistic practice is my own experience of the collapse of the Soviet Union, its aftermath (the dividing-up of, the comprehensive violence, the reappearance of imperialist discourse and action), and my subsequent migration away from russia. This experience led me to reflect on socio-historical dynamics such as the formation of national narratives and collective memories, the role of the authoritarian state in the life of an individual, and the (non)visibility of violence. I am interested in how these dynamics relate to each other and how they influence our perception and understanding what is “true” and “false”. I, too, once fell into the trappings of a manipulated past and present, though ended up escaping them. I, however, still find remnants of these manipulations in my own personality and carefully investigate them to deconstruct their influence.
I am intrigued by the multiplicity of realities and I believe that the personal and the political, as well as personal and collective, are inherently intertwined. In my works I try to find gaps that demonstrate that a multiplicity of perceptions, experiences and memories can not only coexist, but also be a tool to demythologize manipulative narratives purporting to lead toward “unity” under nationalist umbrella.
I engaged with these topics in my practice using films, video and digital installations, performances, web, photography, and writings. The sources I use in my research are variegated and range from academic sources to political and historical documents, issued laws, public speeches, cultural signals taken from popular movies, social networks, literature, songs, poems, from the appearance or disappearance of monuments, and from public rituals and symbols.
At the heart of these explorations remains my belief that art exists not only for those who have been brought up to like it or for an elite. Instead, art has a strong educative potential. I tend to present my works outside the closed confines of galleries and museums, instead presenting my works to those who would not necessarily engage with art institutions.
Jeanna Kolesova 2023
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