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Personal Space
Anya Zholud
Noveber 25 - January 23, 2021
"…no matter how fragmented our everyday existence may appear to be, however, it always deals with beings in a unity of the 'whole', if only in a shadowy way." © Martin Heidegger

Man has striven for many millennia to collate the knowledge of the world into a solid, holistic picture of existence in his mind. But the human mind, encountering the unattainability of grasping the wholeness of reality, continues to break it into its elements. The innate propensity to generalize provides unlimited potential for migrating from one meaning-plane of reality to another. Any form will always find a way to manifest its content, the immaterial will express itself through material objects, and function will justify the existence of everything. This continuous process sets everything around us in motion.

The contemporary world offers ample evidence that the external clash with reality is being superseded by the inward struggle with the "beast within", or imaginary reality. Man's striving to make sense of his real "I", coupled with a proneness to emotional response and permanent anxiety, impels him to seek out readily available sources of pleasure and happiness. Modern purveyors of "soul harmony" urge people to "stay in the flow", but the consumer culture instead proffers an endless flow of goods and services, purported to represent the dreams of generations come true. To some, personal space becomes a place to escape to; to others it is a place to accumulate and store material trophies of reality. There is no ritual or magic left in things, and even their utility has very nearly dissolved. It may well be that material possessions are craved in the hope of satisfying some illusory need. Only one privilege has remained available to material objects: to arouse desire – the desire to possess them.

Anya Zholud's exhibition Personal Space is a discourse on the theme of personally interacting with the component parts of the contemporary world, knowing oneself in relation to reality, and defining one's core values. The artist builds her own personal space and fills it with things that at first seem to fit the definition of household objects: a piano no one can play, chairs that are difficult to sit on, clothing and shoes that cannot be put on, and similarly dysfunctional tables, lamps, and window frames – things devoid of their primary utility, as if coming straight from Plato's eidos-world. Anya Zholud's spatial metaphoric drawings are nothing other than an attempt to refocus the mind away from the dimension of the daily routine and inner verbal dialogue and towards a dimension that holds a vision of the true world that has included everything since time immemorial.

Yulia Lebed