Yulia Pinkusevich: Recollections of Stones Unturned
November 4 – December 23, 2016
Kent Fine Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Yulia Pinkusevich. The Recollections of Stones Unturned is a project that gazes back at our moment in time through a distant future lens. Earth and Mars have now changed in unexpected ways. Viewers encounter clues to what has happened through the collection of Gu.rí.ur, a voyager obsessed with the early days of Mars exploration. Her collection consists of a series of large scale laser etchings depicting the first human+machine traces and marks made upon Mars along with geological specimens found across Gu.rí.ur’s interstellar journey. Other elements of this eclectic collection include two resonant instruments; a glass harmonica and cast iron bell apparatus. Video, text and wall drawings complete the immersive experience. This installation contemplates the similarities between Mars and Earth considering the ways progress has evolved on Earth and its subsequent extraterrestrial trajectories on Mars.
Pinkusevich’s installation grew out of her time and research while an Artist in Residence at Autodesk, Pier 9 in San Francisco. Working alongside artists and scientists who focus on bioengineering, astrophysicist, robotics, speculative architecture, bio-nano tech and much more, she became immersed in a world of scientific explorations. Thus began a year long investigation into the new geologies of foreign worlds. At Pier 9, she had full access to state of the art technology as well as data from cutting edge scientific communities, all developing into a fascination with extraterrestrial landscapes like Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Mars. Throughout this experience, “I absorbed all I could, read and reread Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, met with Astrophysicist Paul Doherty of the Exploratorium, toured NASA Ames in Mountainview, California and met with lead scientists there, discussing their plans for manned missions to Mars by 2030. Surprisingly, The European Space Agency featured the new work about Rosetta’s historic mission landing on a comet on their Rosetta blog. Through this, I came to collaborate with a sound artist from Tbilisi, Georgia whose work was also featured on the blog. Though, we have never spoken we have found a connection. It’s easy to imagine the dissolution of space technology affords us. One of us could just as easily be collaborating from Mars.”
Pinkusevich’s parents both (trained engineers) were raised in the USSR during the space race. The Soviet Union and United States ushered in the age of space exploration. This Soviet obsession with the unknown, surreal and paranormal is deeply seared into Yulia’s work and methodology. The aesthetic preoccupying the work is grounded in the designs of Soviet Era Brutalism and Constructivism in a stripped down manifestation. In 1991, the week before the URRS finally collapsed, Yulia and her family immigrated to New York. Shifting from extreme communism to extreme capitalism, Pinkusevich began to consider the ways history is biased by localized world-views and cultural propaganda. This dichotomy of identity is further explored in her 2015 work, titled Silencing the Cacophony, now on view at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago.
Yulia Pinkusevich holds an MFA from Stanford University and is Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Mills College. She has permanent public art commissions on the campuses of Google, Facebook and most recently, the new McMurtry Art and Art History Building at Stanford University. She presently lives in Oakland, California.