This is 5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in Under the Radar, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from Anastasia Alekseevna Mikhaylova.
What are you trying to communicate with your work?
My work’s subject is rooted in my own sense of mortality, which impacts my art. I study processes of physical, technical, and spiritual transformation and combine analog and digital projection techniques with performance, installation, video, painting, printmaking, and photography. I want to show the beauty and fragility of life and at the same time give positive space to contents which might not be comfortable to talk or think about—for example death, fear, violence, pain, illness, decay, eternity, the unknown. Some of my works are based on X-Ray images or ultrasonic recordings; others integrate a microscopic view on organic matters—transformed into rather abstract or symbolic images. For example, snakeskin texture became a recurrent element and symbol of metamorphosis. I get deeply inspired by studying nature and express this fascination within my artworks, which often have a zoomorphic focus. My work is life-affirming and it aims to remind us about humankind having an intangible connection to nature and universe.
Membrane #1, 2018, Photopolymer intaglio
What is an artist’s responsibility?
Responsibilities let us grow as individuals and as artists and we have the great chance to manifest them in our artwork directly. Responsibilities towards myself and society I see as being empathetic and critical—by researching what is disturbing, questioning what is too comfortable, not giving up visions, even if they don’t have commercial success. In the times of the Anthropocene, sustainable and eco-conscious behaviors matter. I use non- or at least less-toxic production methods for my artworks, which are also more healthy. For example, alternative analog photography with natural developers and toners or non-toxic printmaking give great results. I recommend trying those techniques to every artist working with this medium. These two websites are a good start for those who are interested.
Membrane 1, 2017, Analogue photography, photogram, collage, framed
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?
Multidisciplinary exchange and collaboration with international artists is a great thing to do and very rewarding. I am about to build a new body of work—collages and paintings on glass, which I plan to use as projection scenery for performances and stage pieces. I want to share an interactive visual world with artists and audiences. This image gives a glimpse of a new collaboration project within the fields of sound and performance. The first part is called Splatter and will be presented in Berlin at Plataforma Festival this August.
Courtesy Collective BROKEN LOOP: Jarkko Räsänen, Lola Lustosa, Anastasia Alekseevna Mikhaylova
Previous performative projects can be seen on my Vimeo page.
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:
I would like to write a science fiction novel, but writing is not my strength. Though there might still be a chance in a collaboration.
Sweet Pain #1, 2017–2018, Analogue photography, mounted on aluminium
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
Marnix Everaert is an artist and printmaker from Belgium. We share an interest in the peculiarities of nature and he taught me all I know about non-toxic printmaking.
—The ArtSlant Team
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(Image at top: Cosmos, 2018, Photopolymer intaglio)