Anya Zholud is an artist of whom it could never be said “she tackles pressing issues” - her rare, relevant and essential confessions increasingly revolve around a ruthless depiction of reality.

Three years after “The Last Exhibition” at Gridchinhall, Anya Zholud is putting on an equally large-scale exhibition with the intriguing title of “Worse Than Nothing.” Zholud's new project comprises a significant and, at first glance, very diverse collection of objects and pictures created between 2006 and 2016.


Anya Zholud:

From childhood I wanted to be of use. Later, I realised that I'm doing the most useless thing imaginable. But on the other hand, I've lived a chunk of life, and I can documentarily confirm that I have gone through ten years of entirely solid artistic activity, not dissimilar to work. “Worse Than Nothing” is not a unified project done in one burst, from beginning to ending. It's several exhibitions that have been begun and not finished, different installations that haven't come together, that have got stuck in the throat like a bone over a certain recent period of time.

The exhibition's nodal point and linking element, the “Landscape” installation – a village welded together out of metal rods – is the space of the artist's “inner circle.” The works of the last two years are represented by “thick” oil paintings with abstract geometrical “puzzles” and pictures where the central motif is a wire mesh. Beyond these symbolic fences lies Zholud's inner, domestic world, incarnated in a “gynecological surgery”, casts of televisions and “iron fists” that are “bound together” by sections of metal.

Mangling steel rods into short, angular sections, Anya weaves rigid nets masked as kitchen handiworks. Barbed everyday life appears as a spider's web, a trap that at the same time crumbles into small, spiky shards. This collapsing discrecity of existence opposes the monumental island of “the gynaecological surgery”- the site of the birth of the reality from which Anya Zholud's art is made.

Irina Gorlova, curator, National Center for Contemporary Arts