Taman Diary exhibition by Alisa Yoffe

Alisa Yoffe. Visitors Of Open-Air Museum Of Military Equipment Take Pictures Of Their Daughter On a Tank, 2020. Digital print.
Alisa has spent a month of her residency travelling across the Taman Peninsula. The artist has reproduced her expedition to Taman using her signature acrylic on canvas, capturing scenes from everyday life in Taman: a taxi from Temryuk to Kuchugury, wine grape sampling, swimming in the sea, a field trip to an archaeological site. 'I paint everything,' said Alisa when introducing the winery staff to her creative methods. The artist's primary focus is on the historical significance of the Taman Peninsula. Yoffe has visited the key local archaeological sites: the ancient necropolis of Phanagoria located a short distance to the west of Sennoy village, the ancient settlement of Hermonassa (Tmutarakan), the antique colony of Gorgippia in Anapa – as well as the Royal Kurgan (or Tsarskiy Kurgan) in Kerch, on the Crimean Peninsula.

In her review of the exhibition, art historian Alina Streltsova notes, 'In one of the paintings, we can see the motorway from the back seat of a taxi on its way to Kuchugury, the steering wheel and the driver's back, and three views of the road – through the windscreen, on a GPS navigator, and again on a smartphone screen. Yoffe's entire series features a system of 'screen-lenses' that multiply and juxtapose images of reality. We look at the Taman Peninsula through the eyes of archaeologists – through all the pieces, sphinxes, lion-headed bracelets and other artefacts discovered here.'

Alisa put together the sketches from her journey into a show titled Taman Diary, alluding to Moscow Diary by philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin. In contrast to Benjamin's autobiographical account, Yoffe uses third-person narration to tell the story: impartially, like a camera lens, she examines the imagery of the area within the widest possible time slice, starting with antiquity. The artist turns to evidence from the times of the Mithridatic Wars in the Bosporan Kingdom and the artefacts of the open-air Museum of Military Equipment in Temryuk with equal attention, making sketches on her phone screen and collating images from different eras in one painting. That way the events from different historical periods unfold side by side as a series of posts in social media news feeds. 'Technology changes but war remains,' says Alisa.

The exhibition is open in the gallery of the Golubitskoe Art Foundation from August 26 to November 30, 2020.
August 26 – November 30, 2020
Alisa Yoffe (b. 1987, Tashkent, Uzbekistan) has studied with Yuri Shabelnikov at Moscow Museum of Modern Art's Free Workshops. She graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow, and attended Anatoly Osmolovsky's course in Moscow.

From 2017 to 2019 she collaborated with COMME des GARÇONS; she has previously collaborated with other fashion brands, including Maison Margiela, Bonne Suits, and Virronen.

Her works can be found in the collections of the State Tretyakov Gallery, V-A-C Foundation, Perm Museum of Contemporary Art, Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Horvath Art Foundation, and others.

Solo exhibitions include:

  • What's the Address? (Futuro Gallery, Nizhny Novgorod, 2019);
  • Curated by Alisa Yoffe (Aperto Raum, Berlin, Germany, 2019);
  • Alisa Yoffe:))) (Triumph Gallery, Moscow, 2019);
  • Solo Show (a-s-t-r-a project, Moscow, 2019);
  • Freestyle Digital Copies of Selected Works From the Collection of the Tretyakov Gallery (сцена/szena gallery, Moscow, 2019);
  • All girls to the front! (Eenwerk Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland, 2018);
  • Sous les pavés, la plage! (The Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin, Moscow, 2018);
  • Fury (ART4 Museum, Moscow, 2017);
  • Rough History (Växjö Konsthall, Växjö, Sweden, 2016);
  • Mayhem (Voronezh CCA, Voronezh, 2016);
  • Attack the Bourgeoisie! (Triangle Curatorial Studio, Moscow, 2015);
  • Let the Common Middle Class Think All Fine Is Dead For Us (Residency of Austrian cultural attache Simon Mraz, Moscow, 2015), and others.

Alisa Yoffe lives and works in Moscow.
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