The primary plot of Zina Isupova’ exhibition linked to political and social events of recent months in Ukraine. Images in this project are presented through heavy painting plates containing the portraits of those who «swept away». «Swept away» are ordinary (typical) people whose images are mired in a light and muddy slush, drowned in it; they’re sleeping or dead or are in suspended animation. Some shots are taken from the real chronicles and endowed with vague recognizability; it seems that precisely this view was in customary tragic news. Gypsum massifs, which are the foundation for painting, are simultaneously plates for cuneiform and memorial slabs.
In this project artist’s personal and biographical aspect is extremely important. Zina was born and raised in Kiev and in 2013 she started her education in Moscow at Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia. Dramatic moment in Ukrainian history was experienced involuntarily from a distance, with topographical barrier. This distance came out not only in spatial interval but also in the painstaking technique that asks for pushing the time gap between the event and its artistic realization.
In addition to its social and historical themes the project affects the range of issues within the art. To what extent painting is able to respond to the speed of contemporaneity and be a medium for appropriate artistic expression in our ultrafast age of information? As shown by the Isupova’s project, exaggeratedly slow medium may attract more attention not through loud cry and rapidity but through silence and concentration. These pictures are rhetorical questions asked without hope of getting an answer. It is media images stuck in layers of slow time. On the one hand, it’s a hopeless gesture of the artist who accesses the fragile sculptural material — gypsum, which contains references to commemorative things, as gypsum monuments to the images from television and our cameras. On the other hand, it’s an attempt to plunge the viewer into another, delayed and muted temporality. The exposition is made in such a way as to keep the viewer inside its complicated geometry and labyrinthine structure. Theme of the project breaks the isolation of the medium of painting, reunites it with reality, with the current moment which actualizes through the waiting, fading, and receding into the past.