“There is no sweeter smell in the world than the smell of youth. Old age is always pathetic.”

Irina Drozd’s exhibition at the Gridchinhall Gallery is dedicated to the perception of old age. In her project “I don’t want to get old”, the artist investigates how the enjoyment of youth is replaced by fear of the inexorable flow of time. She attempts to make sense of society’s worship of youth and the fear connected with the realization of death’s inevitability.
Drozd demands that we contemplate the inescapable while examining a canvas with images of teenagers and elderly people. The most likely association upon first glance at the young heroes of the paintings: they will all come to the same fate, no matter how young and beautiful they are now. But they can also be interpreted in a different way – the teenagers in Irina’s works have not yet made their choice. All roads and possibilities are still open to them. And it is at this point, when the possibilities of how the future will turn out are endless, that immortality exists. Its ephemerality strikes Drozd.
The artist’s work hits the nerve of time: artists throughout the whole world in recent years have been thinking about the perception of physicality that has saturated the modern world with alarm and refuses to allow society to grow up. All of these problems are closely intertwined with Drozd’s works, but in them and through them appears a new, symbolic plan: contemplation of the idea of eternal concept of beauty. “We have all agreed that youth is wonderful and old age is horrible.” Is the artist suggesting that we begin to question this dogma? Or is she insisting that there is no other way it could be?
Irina Drozd is a graduate of the Mukhina School (the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design), the Weissensee Higher School of Art in Berlin, and has twice resided in the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Among her international projects, Drozd has had exhibitions in the Beelden aan Zee museum in the Hague, the Paris art center Espace Art et Liberté à Charenton-le-Pont, and the Noordelijk Scheepvaartmuseum in Dutch Groningen, and has participated in the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Her works can be found in the collections of the Moscow Museum of Contemporary and the State Center for Contemporary Art.


Installation Views