Coming Inside Out
curated by Sáng Huynh
for The Art Vacancy
Poliakova’s inaugural solo exhibition, Coming Inside Out, illustrates an interflow that unites the notions of suffering and consumption — both are unavoidable and destructive. The transformation leaves its traces, scars, and wounds, which are depicted in introspective psychological portraits.
According to the current scientific paradigm, all organisms consist of the same chemical elements. The constant circulation of matter is always present. The matter is decomposing, being digested and rebuilt — our being is based on this circulation, portraying decay connects physical and emotional experiences.
Poliakova’s comprehensive medium, custom-made natural ink, represents the interrelation between the species. The ink serves as an aid to visualizing human covers as a part of the biosphere. Individuals exchange pain within the dynamic environment by sharing, retranslating, and consuming. Consumed substances become a part of us, constitute a part of us — body with its fluids, tissues, and bones, as well as our pain. Poliakova’s work is a metaphor that physically encapsulates the essence of this merge.
About the Artist
Lita Poliakova (Life Is Torturing Awesome) is a visual artist of Russian origin who is currently based in Germany. She received her Bachelor’s degree in graphic design and fine arts from Baltic University of Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communications and State University of Technology, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Following her studies in Russia, she turned to more contemporary art and obtained her Master’s degree in visual culture and contemporary art at Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland) where she settled the key topics of her practice: distortive nature of pain, identity, and social constructs. During her studies, she was granted an Erasmus+ scholarship, which allowed her to get advanced training in visual arts at Faculty of Fine Arts at Porto University (Porto, Portugal). In addition, she has produced a project at the 32nd Sao Paulo Biennale (Sao Paulo, Brazil), where she worked with visitors and challenged their expression of mental image of color associated with a notion of home. That same year she was engaged in an international art program within the Process Space art festival (Ruse, Bulgaria) where she enriched her toolbox with mixed media techniques. Currently, Poliakova is developing her work to depict distortion in her own custom-made media while meditating on issues, such as sexuality and power, as well as mass culture, by means of collage.
About the Art Vacancy
The Art Vacancy is a New York-based art organization that supports artists across all disciplines. Founded in March 2017 by Sáng Huynh and Lindsey Puccio, TAV aims to encourage creatives by shaping unique opportunities for them to expand their craft and network of resources. As a group of artists ourselves, we felt disheartened by a reoccurring disconnect we’d see between curators and artists. We saw that for our artist peers, opportunities to showcase their work were either very exclusive, and guarded by an elite niche, or inconsiderate pop-up shows where the art simply serves as a backdrop to a party, yielding them little recognition or potential to sell. We felt a balance of access and excellence could be struck; where artists would not be vetted based on institutionalized limitations shaped by a dominate culture, but rather their dedication to the craft, and their ambition to be impactful. We chose to start an organization that was for artists, by artists because we believe the strongest advocates for a culture are its own.
Across time and place, artists have interacted with the world in unique ways. Their potential for greatness lies in their ability to reshape another’s thinking, be it an individual or society at large. We reject the notion that great artists prosper in isolation. Rather, we believe that a strong community is the cornerstone of progress. For this reason, TAV provides consistent spaces for artists to reflect, connect, and dig deeper about the work they do. Art does not exist in a vacuum, and an artist does not thrive by happenstance. We utilize our exhibitions as platforms to communicate this truth. “We are an inclusive art community— we support artists across all disciplines, from all backgrounds.” – Sáng Huynh, Founder