At Artissima 2015 the technical jury of illy Present Future prize, composed by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli – GAM, Galleria di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin), Dieter Roelstraete (Documenta 14, Kassel) and Maurizio Morra Greco (collector, Naples), rewarded Alina Chaiderov “for her articulate exploration of sovietic memory, carried out through the irreverent prism of everyday sculptural forms”.
The prize included also the opportunity to exhibit in 2016 her works in a show at Castello di Rivoli, that will be available from November 4th to March 5th 2017.
In the following lines Alina Chaiderov answers to some questions about A new memory is made exhibition, curated by Marianna Vecellio.
Giovanna Repetto: In 2015 you were represented by Gallery Antoine Levi at Artissima’s Present future section, through two works: Before 1989 we kept the bananas in the closet (2014) and Spaces within (separated from the outside air by layer upon layer of protection) (2014).These works create a relationship between your past, your experiences and big events in our history: the result is some new memory. Could you introduce us a bit more into your concept of memory?
Alina Chaiderov: This is a complex and important question that is hard for me to answer in just a couple of sentences. Memory is a global source for my creativity, and my concept of memory – I would say – is the result of an ongoing process within my practice, in which I use memory as one of my materials. Introducing you a bit more into my concept of memory would involve showing you my work..
GR: I understand, so where does A new memory is made come from? Where did you find inspiration?
AC: I’m fascinated by how different neuroanatomical structures interact to create, store and retrieve different parts of our memories. I try to be aware of that interplay between the information that is stored and the information I’m dealing with everyday and let it inspire my practice.
GR: Can you tell us something about your feelings coming from the first personal exhibition in a museum institution?
AC: Making this exhibition has been a fruitful and important challenge. It has meant a lot for me to have the means to realise this exhibition and dedicate a whole year to develop my ideas and work for this occasion.
GR: Your work has been installed in a really unique location of Castello di Rivoli, where a big semicircular window looks into Juvarra’s foyer: how did you relate with this place?
AC: The whole museum and the atmosphere at Castello di Rivoli was inspiring, it is a special place with its interesting and fascinating history and architecture. When I was shown this location where I was supposed to set my installation, the first thing that happened when I entered into that space was that I was absorbed by this huge semicircular window compared with the interior. I spent some time in this space and started working together with it. All of the walls in this room have different heights, sizes and angles and the ceiling is oval, the room is not that big but with this window and its shape it seemed endless to me and at the same time very intimate like a sunrise. I continued to work further with this and the semicircular shape and other elements from Castello di Rivoli inspired my process becoming part of the installation as a natural continuation of my internal dialogue on memory, matter and time which I operate within my practice.
GR: You use “common” objects like the tennis balls, tubes, bricks, shells and bananas to create your works that reflects on personal and collective time: which is the role and the inner importance that you give them? How do you choose them?
AC: Yes I use objects that are near me in a way or another, which have been crucial and which have had an impact on me but which at the same time are likewise important and present here and now. I am constantly aware of objects that surround me and my everyday life. I carefully choose them and the raw materials that I use: they have to be charged in a particular way and show me something different. In combination with the constellations and structures that I make from raw materials and different industrial materials gives me opportunity to have new experience and be part of unexpected gestures that arise in the tensions and changes between the materials and objects. In this process I can come more closer to a true feeling and gain a higher level of meaning in what I am searching for.