Oliver Dougherty
Oliver DoughertyArtist ·
Futureless Group Exhibition
With imagination and fiction as tools, the Futureless group exhibition at SomoS, Berlin presents the myriad possibilities of queer/feminist futures within our increasingly digitized and ecologically precarious planet. It looks at the ruins of capitalism and sees them not as ominous, but rather as an opportunity to radically reshape the world from queer/feminist perspectives. Like many exhibitions planned for 2020, Futureless has been postponed in light of the COVID-19 madness. For the Unseen open call, a glimpse of Futureless is offered in the form of the works of participating artists Heather Renée Russ, and Maria Kulikovska in collaboration with Uleg Vinnichenko. Borders and their implications for regulating life on Earth sit at the center of both their works, and are distinctly interpreted by each artist. For New York-based multidisciplinary artist Heather Renée Russ, the border of the “Tidewrack” is the focus and also the title of her series of monoprints. The tidewrack is the fluid space on a beach’s shoreline where marine debris is deposited as the tide recedes: the line where the land meets the water. Drawing from this ever-changing boundary, Russ’ work is concerned with the threat of the disappearance of queer beaches in New York, due to climate change and its effects of environmental loss and displacement. In response, Russ finds ways to intertwine objects that represent queer life, such as wigs and fake eyelashes with natural elements in order to emphasize their intimate relationship. Russ often leaves these items at the shoreline to entangle with the tide, yet her prints show them composed in a way that they resemble marine organisms such as jellyfish and seaweed. At the shifting border of the tidewrack, the bond between queer life and the natural world is celebrated, while holding close an uncertain future fraught by ecological concerns. In multidisciplinary artist, performer and feminist activist in exile Maria Kulikovska’s series of over 70 watercolor paintings, “Constitution of Autonomous Republic Xena-Maria”, original documents that trace her experience of migration are used as source material. These documents include visa applications, forms to register as an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) in Ukraine, as well as multiple refusal letters. Since its annexation, Kulikovska cannot return to her home in the Crimean peninsula as she was labelled a “degenerative artist”. With Crimea representing a lost homeland, Kulikovska contemplates her own future as an exiled feminist artist, while asking the viewer to reflect on how borders, conflict and power are affecting women worldwide, and whether they may be one day abolished. The presence of fiction also allows Kulikovska’s work to move beyond her own experience, as the watercolor paintings are additionally part of a book that she is currently writing, featuring her alter ego Xena from the forbidden land. Since 2017, Kulikovska has been producing all of her artworks with her partner, architect and thinker Uleg Vinnichenko. The new dates of Futureless are TBC after shutdown. Read more about the project on the SomoS website below. Futureless is curated by Oliver Dougherty. Pictured works: Heather Renée Russ (USA) Tidewrack Monoprints on cotton rag, 40.5x61cm, 2019. Maria Kulikovska with Uleg Vinnichenko (UA/SW) Constitution of Autonomous Republic Xena-Maria Watercolor on migration service documents, each 21x30cm, 2020.
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