Signals
15.10.2022

An exhibition by Katya-Anna Taguti
at the Vyksa Steelworks History Museum
Katya-Anna Taguti, who participated in the Vyksa Artist-in-Residence programme in September and October 2022, is a prominent artist with a remarkable biography and a long list of international exhibitions. According to fellow artists, Taguti belongs to the generation that possesses the ability to narrate when the 'narrative could not cope with reality overwhelmed with catastrophic events and feverish speed.* The upcoming exhibition features works created by the artist in Vyksa: canvases, drawings, 'meteorite' fragments (industrial slag) as well as objects from the museum's archaeological collection, selected by Taguti. All these artworks are set to awaken the imagination and create new connections with today.

Taguti's narratives and techniques have always been complex and multi-layered. Her work combines traditional mediums, such as canvas, paper, charcoal, and acrylic paints with the possibilities that the installation genre provides. In her large-scale installations (one of them is currently on view at the Ivanovo museum) the artist uses light and footage as well as various objects and art objects. 'I'd call it a palimpsest as the layers of meanings and emotions overlap one another, and through the past you can catch a glimpse of the present and guess what the future might be. This concept determines the medium: layers of glazing, collages made from posters, receipts, corroded metal, and fluted paper,' explains Taguti.

It is not only her plots that are superimposed on one another – time also takes a new pressed multilayered form. The attempt to depict it creates a new spatiotemporal extension. 'It often happens that one of my projects extends into the next one,' says Taguti. 'Two large-scale artworks I created during my residency are the last in the Paper&Architecture_Motherland series, dedicated to the so-called USSR archipelago, the empire, Atlantis gone long since. The traces and artefacts of the high Soviet style (as well as any other style) are most noticeable and well-preserved in architecture. These artefacts are literally time machines.'

In 2022, the projects presented by several Vyksa AiR residents** were in one way or another connected with the non-linear concept of time, examining time, space, and chronotopes. What is special about Taguti's project is that for her the unified time and space are not something cosmic, fatal, all-encompassing, and incomprehensible. Instead, she believes it is made from specific people acting as time agents, their portraits, certificates, documents, and texts they created, hence also possessing the features of a palimpsest. The layers and narratives that Taguti has collected and pressed together without stirring are an echo of the nostalgic and distressing past – the past that, while no longer here, is still hanging over the present and the future. The artist does not reveal to us how to read these signs, yet she suggests that through her works we accept the vague, familiar warning signals from the past. How shall we decipher them? Deciding how to interpret these signals, what to think and how to act is up to each viewer.

*Bogdan Mamonov on the People project, annataguti.ru/ru/bogdan-mamonov-proekt-people
**Above by Mikhail Dobrovolsky, The Night of Capricorn by Misha Gudwin, Archaeochaos by Danya Pirogov.