Yuri Boyko photographer born in Ukraine living in San Francisco (U.S.A)
Yuri Boyko is an American San Francisco based photographer of a Ukranian descent. His artistic practice develops from his interest in deconstructing the different aspects of identity. Through his work Yuri researches on the concept of identity both as a development of the distinct personality of an individual as well as a social role within a certain community.
Two of his most recent projects are ‘Constructivism: A Man and A Woman’ and ‘Immersive Identity’.
In ‘Constructivism’ Yuri Boyko reflects upon constructed identity and sculptural memorabilia as the key strategies to redefine national consciousness during the post Communist era. To do so he chooses one of the most representative public monuments erected during Stalinism in Moscow. His use of irony and visual poetry becomes the strategy to deconstruct the huge statue into abstract scenes that juxtapose the critique of idealism as applied to a particular social context and the stereotyping of identity. Furthermore he discloses the under reflected links that existed between avant-garde artistic movements and mainstream political discourses in the early 20th century in the USSR. The outcome is an oniric game of reflections that play with the hieratic style of communist imagery and the deconstruction of social determinism through his particular photographic gaze.
‘Immersive Identity’ is a collaborative and research project developed through the interaction between painting and photography. Taking the formation of identity from a personal perspective the artists create a series of life-sized photographs that reflect a development of human’s identity perception through the relationship of one’s stances within societal epochs into the metaphor of different stages of personal identity from birth to maturity. This evolution is visually enhanced by using of achromatic color pigments on model’s dark skin, a mask, and color spaces that assertively directs us towards a world where myth, memory, and alchemy become naturally intertwined.
In June and July 2013 Yuri Boyko has been selected to be part of CeRCCa’s – Center for Research and Creativity Casamarles (Llorenç del Penedes, Catalonia) Artist in Residence Program. During his residency at CeRCCa Yuri is developing a body of work inspired by the natural, social, and political contexts of the region with a particular interest in deciphering the symbols of Catalan identity in relation to the growing nationalism movement that Catalonia is experiencing in recent times. His project ‘Catalan Sketches’ focuses on the symbols of this identity through the foundational legend and social function of the Catalan flag: ‘la Senyera’. The Catalan flag is rethought in relation to different sites and situations that have marked the artists everydayness during his residency by using sites and situations that have a particular relation to the national psychology, its identity and history. The artist uses form and color in order to create the subtle abstraction of these sites and situations. ‘Catalan Sketches’ has the deconstruction of the shapes and colors of the Catalan flag as a continuous narrative element and is ordered into four different thematic groups inspired by 4 different sites: The abandon village of Selma, the Royal Monastery of Santes Creus, the Cal Figueres farm and different scenes of sociabilization in the village of Llorenç del Penedes. These abstractions work as multilayered messages composed by the remembrance of a heroic past, the reflection on nowadays multicultural society, and an optimistic view of the future.
The final outcome of this intense creative period is twofold. On the one hand his intention is to show a series of photographs that confirms a mapping of his idea of national symbology into the specific context of Catalonia. On the other hand he is interacting with an audience by using overhead projection onto various site-specific surfaces in the village while the work is in progress. This approach allows Yuri to develop a dialogue with the local community based on spontaneous interactions though a subliminal perspective that proposes the deconstruction of taken for granted assumptions related to the idea that the nation and the flag are being understood as quintessential elements of patriotism.
Orsi Csoma – Textile artist from Budapest (Hungary)
Monica Slavov – Photography Artist from the U.S.A
During the time at her residency, Monica Slavov engaged the theme of exploring individual identities through past experiences. Taking a documentary approach, she uses the body as a representation of its history. In the piece titled “Confessions,” she uses the idea of tattooing to represent this. Tattooing was first discovered by rubbing ink into an open wound. So the artist took the body history and brought open wounds of the past onto the surface, represented in site-specific tattoos.
The second set of works, titled “Contacts,” employs the aesthetic of silver-gelatin contact sheets, where the 35mm film negative strips have been organised into a timeline of one year (one contact sheet/roll of film per month). Monica took a performative approach in the timeline, losing an item of clothing with each month to progress backwards to a stripped state. Using sporadic imagery contrasted with blacked-out days, the aesthetic represents a loss of contact that is left for the viewer to determine.
Chide Adah – Urban and Architecture Researcher from Lagos (Nigeria).
During the month of May and June 2013 Vivienne Ojochide Adah was selected to be part of the Center for Research and Creativity Casamarles – CeRCCa – Residency Program.
CeRCCa tries to promote research and creativity as an essential means to develop projects that relate to the context and that have potential to become elements of knowledge production in relation to different layers of the community where CeRCCa develops its activities. Together with her application Ojochide Adah presented a project proposal that fit perfectly to the interdisciplinary approach and context specificity of the center.
Ojochide Adah was selected as part of CeRCCa’s Artists in Residency Program on the grounds of her CV and her project proposal that involved a research on the built environment and the consequence of this human activity on the everyday life of a given community. Being herself a graduate in Architecture from the University of Jos (Nigeria) and having work experience in urban design and research CeRCCa believed that the chance to be part of CeRCCa’s selected artists and researchers would give Ojochide a good opportunity to have a direct experience of the urban reality of Llorenç del Penedes, the village where CeRCCa is placed as well as to have a privileged position to investigate on the different strategies put on practice in the urban realm of Barcelona, a city which is actually exemplary of public space development and contemporary architecture at the service of the citizens. Furthermore, her residency at CeRCCa was also a good platform from where to investigate the causes and consequences of the construction boom that eventually has triggered one of the deepest economical crises in the contemporary history of Spain.
During her residency at CeRCCa Ojochide Adah developed a consistent research titled ‘The Urban Built Environment and Sustainable Social Practices’. Her research was developed using qualitative research, literature analysis, study fields in Llorenç del Penedes and in Barcelona, research interviews to Pau Batlle, an urban planner that was part of the team of architects that developed the main urban projects that have taken place in Barcelona’s contemporary urban history such as the Olympic Games 1992 and the construction of the 22@ neighborhood in 2004. Furthermore Ojochide showed a particular interest in contacting different personalities related to her research field as well as participated in a workshop on sustainability and public space intervention as part of the Barcelona Design Festival 2013.
The outcome of her residency at CeRCCa has been the completion of the first stage of an ongoing research where she analyzed from a sociological and architectural perspective the uses of a place and a space in relation to different strategies of planning and development taking as a key element social and ecological sustainability.
Alisha Michelle Davidow – Installation and Performing artists from Helsinki (Finland)
Tess Faria and Ben Burtenshaw, Mix Media artists from London (UK) residents at El Porxo (El Montmell): www.abandonar.eu