Reading on Awakening | with Anna Zvyagintseva
Anna Zvyagintseva, Plant a stick, Sustainable costume for the Invader (rabbit skin glue, sunflower seeds), 2022
7 – 8:30 pm CEST
online and on-site
Please register by filling out
the registration form
This reading group event is part
of SEA Foundations’ longer-term
research of art and sustainability
fold #05 on Awakening
The event is free of charge,
organised by artists and volunteers
of the SEA Foundation.
Moderated by Maria Vtorushina
Our next guest, leading the Awakening reading group, is Anna Zvyagintseva. Anna was born in Dnipro, Ukraine. In 2010 she graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture and continued her practices in Kyiv. Currently, Anna is based in Maastricht, finishing her program at Jan Van Eyck Academy.
The artistic practice of Anna Zvyagintseva is an example of subtle and sensual work with complex topics, be it political realities or personal history. Anna Zvyagintseva is a third-generation artist, following her grandfather’s and father’s work. In her practice, she investigates imperceptible, impalpable facets of life, showcasing their fragility and documenting elusive intangible moments. Anna works with topics such as body, paths, useless actions, and small gestures. In 2018, Anna won the PinchukArtCentre Prize with a series of works that explore human habits. The artist calls these actions “collective unconscious drawing.”
The topic of family memory has always been important for Anna’s work. But since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the connection with her family through artifacts, private archives, and small rituals, sparkling in many of her new works, have gained new meanings. “Like a tree without leaves my soul stands in fields” — is written on a small sketch from the archive of the artist’s grandfather Rostislav Zvyagintsev, which Anna chose as an entering line for her graduation work at Jan van Eyck academy this year. Anna is researching the potential of memory and revival encoded in the tree’s life cycle. Her recent works Transplant a Tree (2020-2021) and Plant a Stick (2019-2022) address the topics of collective memory and oblivion and hope for the future, where life will find its path, nourished by care and love.
For the reading on Awakening III, Anna chose an extract Play and War from Homo Ludens. This book was initially published in 1938 in Leiden by Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga. The work discusses the importance of the play element of culture and society. Anna’s choice marks a rhyme between the first acquaintance of a young Ukrainian thinker with modern Dutch philosophy and her professional practice in the Netherlands. With this reading, the artist returns thoughts as seeds that arrive in their native field from the other country’s culture in 84 years.
Website Anna Zvyagintseva
The programme of reading sessions:
More any suggestions for reading? Check out the Awakening recommended booklist