Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Antonina Slobodchikova:
“JANO TUT (It Is Here)”,
2011 — 2012

ZBOR #32

Installation: video, collages, objects, photographs, metal constructions, artificial flowers, aquariums, books

The personal project was exhibited at the gallery of contemporary art Ў, Minsk, Belarus

Antonina Slobodchikova:installation“JANO TUT (It Is Here)”,2011 — 2012

“Jano tut”, Ў Gallery, Minsk, Belarus, 2011


Antonina Slobodchikova’ exhibition Jano tut represents a multi-level multimedia installation, in which among numerous other exhibits two major works in two languages ​​were shown – JANO TUT and ES IST DA – made of painted in black artificial flowers, and translated as It is here.

Conceptual Jano tut project can be described as a program statement for the artist, as it addresses a number of the themes she constantly brings into discussion: gender, religion, death, mass culture, consumerism, identity and sexuality. Antonina Slobodchikova often includes a wide range of texts in her works, personal slogans, snatched from different social spheres, and puns. Her collages, aside from text and graphics, consist of all sorts of images found: reproductions of catalogs and art books, clippings from magazines, archival photographs, fragments of consumer goods packages, stickers, her daughter’s drawings, and so on.

The combination of multiple cultural codes in deliberately kitsch aesthetics created hippernarrativity of the project, providing an eclectic background for the tridimensional inscriptions made of blackened funeral flowers. Inscriptions are not the just mottos of the project, but its philosophical essence, the existential look at “white noise” of surrounding reality. What does this IT mean (JANO in Belarusian or ES in German)? For the artist, whose interview was included in the exhibition project, it is a certain intimate sense, deeply personal, associated with loneliness and pain, indescribable by only words or images. Man-made meanings are perceived as a decoration to IT IS HERE, helping the viewers to find themselves in the proposed conditions of frightening unconscious, but not being able to cancel it. Still, the artist has tried to overcome the feeling of existential fear and anxiety in the presented at the exhibition video, which recorded the inscription Jano tut, burning in the snowy field and leaving the white space of nature, refined by fire.

Antonina Slobodchikova works a lot with the theme of death and fear, often including objects into her installations: human hair, found items and ritual symbols. But her works has also an ironic view of reality and humor. Collage and the usage of popular media images are distinctive techniques of many works of the artist, who also uses them in the creation of the author’s books (Sanitary Book 2005-2006, Journey to Africa ​​2004, Warm Place in 2013 and others), objects, installations and urban interventions.


Antonina Slobodchikova (born 1979, Minsk, Belarus) – artist.

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.


Text: Sergey Shabohin, Irina Herasimovich,  KALEKTAR ©


This is a shortened version of the text. Full article is under construction.