Распечатано: 12.12.2019 11:22:57

Alina Bliumis "Classification Patterns: Christian, Muhammad, Lee"2019-10-09

October 9– October 31 2019

Opening: October 9, 2019, 7  PM


Alina Bliumis

Classification Patterns: Christian, Muhammad, Lee


Curated by Irena Popiashvili


“Ў” Gallery of contemporary art is pleased to present New York based artist, Alina Bliumis’, solo exhibition. Although the artist was born in Minsk, she received her education in New York and has extensively exhibited in the US and in Europe. This is Alina Bliumis’ first solo exhibition in her native Belarus.


The title of the exhibition refers to the artist’s 2018-2019 series Most of Us Are. This 14 part text-based work describes how “most of us” are born, believe, worship, eat, consume, own, loose, work, dream, and spend our lives. Alina Bliumis explored worldwide statistics, demographic research and global opinion polling to define the main characteristics of a global citizen. Based on the research the artist constructed a verbal portrait of “the most typical person.” Although statistically it is correct that “most of us are named Mohammad, last name Lee” but as Stamatina Gregory noted in her text about Bliumis’s work “no citizen of the world cobbled together from shared demographic data truly exists.” In fact, these research poll based text portraits are anything but typical.


The act of classification, research, collection and creating new patterns of order is essential to the artist. To create Amateur Watching at Passport Control series the artist studied all 195 passports existing in the world. She dissected symbolism of coats of arms featured on the passport covers and detected 4 major categories of symbols: flora, birds, big cats and weapons.  From Lebanese cedar to Mauritius’ dodo, from Georgian lions to East Timor’s AK 47, these 4 part series - Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control, Amateur Cat Watching at Passport Control, Amateur Flora Watchingat Passport Control andAmateur Arsenal Watching at Passport Control (2016-2019) - display curious intersection between nations and nature.


The exhibition also includes works:My Soviet Childhood, He and My Soviet Childhood, She, 2018.  Bliumis created these works together with her long time collaborator, Jeff Bliumis. This diptych is comprised of Jeff Bliumis’s childhood collection of Soviet movie star postcards from the late 60s up to the 80s. In the former USSR, any visual information, especially the pop culture photos were tediously collected and studied.  The looking and discovering of birds, big cats, arms and flora on passport covers is closely associated with the curious eye that one develops while collecting the soviet movie star postcards. This voyeuristic pleasure learned in childhood while arranging different kinds of collections from postal stamps to pop culture heroes is essential in understanding both Most of Us Are and Amateur Watching at Passport Controlseries.


In My Soviet Childhood, He and She the artist is looking for creating the portrait of the most typical USSR movie star, while in Amateur Watching at Passport Controlwe witness a reverse process: she is taking bigger picture of coats of arms and dissects it in visual details.


Concurrent to this exhibition Alina Bliumis has a solo show at Anne De Villepoix gallery in Paris. Most recently Alina Bliumis has exhibited at The James Gallery, The Graduate Center CUNY (New York, USA), Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland, USA) and the Jewish Museum (New York, USA) among others. Her works are in various private and public collections, including MAC VAL - Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France; Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris, France; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia; Bat Yam Museum for Contemporary Art, Israel; The Saatchi Collection, UK; The Harvard Business School, USA; The National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, USA and Missoni Collection, Italy.