installation “Aesop’s Pets”,
34 urns with statuettes: porcelain, wood, plaster, screen printing, glaze.
Originally presented to the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Graphic and sculptural works of Vika Mitrichenko combine pieces of different, often incompatible themes, pictures and texts, materials and techniques. Tea set from the Grandmother’s Treasures series is an eclectic collection of porcelain objects that seem to be broken and re-glued together from fragments of different styled dishes. The author did this work in memory of her grandmother’s habit to keep broken family porcelain. Some fragments have written pieces of text on them, the meaning of which can be restored by placing objects in the correct order. Family history or fiction, recreating the past or illusions of certain memories and feelings – this is the theme of this work.
Aesop’s Pets installation as a part of “The contour. Continuity” exhibition was displayed in 2007 at Delft Lambert van Meerten Museum. The artist placed the installation in the historical interiors of the 17th century, the heyday of the puritanical moralism, which has created an ironic, deliberately kitsch allusion to the cemetery of pets, the heroes of instructive fables of Aesop. Fifteen porcelain urns with animal busts occupied all the exhibition space. To each animal an epitaph is attached, such as: “Finished suffering”, “Did everything it could,” or “Was called back!” The original installation consists of 32 objects and can also be viewed as the video presentation.
Another series of works, The Trophy Cups, 2013, was dedicated to the theme of self-realization. Like many of works by Vika Mitrichenko, this project is also based on family history, in particular, on the father’s professional career story. Her father had been a coach of the USSR swimming team, and later turned into a connoisseur and collector of art. The work consists of more than 100 trophies and commemorative awards, while their inscriptions state for what they have been “given”. For example: “For looking into the distance and not doing anything“, “For saying once that it is not so easy to bury your talent into the ground “or “For learning to swim against the current“. Commenting the work Vika Mitrichenko wonders: “Perhaps the most important thing is not a professional success, but much more important and valuable is what is left in the shades?”
In 2005 Vika Mitrichenko created the installation My Cup of Tea. A monument for my STUDIO that represents a quasi-museum showpiece-stele created from the priceless garbage, which she works with.
Vika Mitrichenko’s works are in the major collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the National Museum of Ceramics in Levardene, the Ministry of Culture and Education of the Netherlands in The Hague.
Vika Mitrichenko (born 1972, Minsk, Belarus) – artist, sculptor, ceramist, professor.
Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Text: Sergey Shabohin, KALEKTAR ©
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