Аleksandr Balashov “ Masha Semenskaya” , 18 January, 2014.
In the works of Masha Semenskaya is reflected the collision of two streams of speech - one is the direct speech of the artist, the other - a huge stream flow or myriad speeches flow that makes the entire space of the surrounding reality. In fact, it is the collision of two streams of reality.
The external reality is reflected in the perception of the artist, it requires a reaction, presence, involvement, engages in itself and reaches the boundary on which each person either identifies one’s self with the models being offered outside the contexts of the reality, or stops in front of it at a loss.
So the artist is aware that these very reactions of hers, the forms of presence and participation - are the reality of her life, she herself, the meeting place of the existence of the wide world and her only consciousness, her life, unknown to the world, but becoming a unique history of understanding and deflection of universe, birth of thinking world in her mind, her memory and her body.
Here she recalls her own, begins to look for herself and does not find immediately. Here, the modern man faces a knowledge gap between his own life and how he has to live a modern mass culture. Here begins the existence of man and the world, for which no one, except that person, is liable.
Tell me - what do you want, and I tell you - who you are. I - is my desires. The whole industry in the world today produces desires - not the objects of desire, but our very desires, clichés, which in fact form our desires. Do they create a human? Is modern man - a program execution of enclosed in him expectations and perceptions of others of what he is and what he lives for?
"Do I know myself well enough to recognize myself in my thoughts, decisions and desires? Can I distinguish them from those that are simply imposed on me? Can I be honest and open to admit them to myself? What are - my dreams – childhood’s, adult, past and present? To what extant my reference to dreams, visions and desires determine my identity? They always made me ask - who I am and what it is - this my personality, what is this "me" in my head? The variety of "I", the flow of images, in which I learned and continue to learn myself, the variety of "I" that live in consequence of and by another “I”s - this is the prints, the image on the surface of the paintings. "- So says Masha Semenskaya about her works.
The artist listens to her memories, peering into the images in which her memories are rendered and freeze, in which she is able to hold them on the surface of the memory and she meditates on how she appears in them today, as she is going through in the present over the past, how she understands, remembers, feels and sees her states, fears, fantasies, then, what she was / how she remembers herself / how she was seeing herself by then/ as in the past how she was recalling herself in an even earlier time ... These memories are not necessarily controlled - they appear in dreams, spontaneous, uncontrolled and can cause paradoxical reactions. They are constant or instant random, they return, they can become obsessive, but where do they come from?
These are the thoughts of female characters of the artist - women, girls, teenage girls or young girls who are - and she herself, and at the same time someone else - very different girls and women. It breaks through the roles entrusted to a woman by family, environment, education, age, body, social status and so on, and so on - to the way she sees herself, how they understand themselves and can understand how to take their femininity, what means-to be a woman, born a woman, both at different times and in different states it comes to her - the realization that she is a woman. She aims to be herself - and is not sure that she knows what it means - to be yourself.
Acute experience of femininity and demand for it was and still is the main content of the works of Masha Semenskaya. Sometimes it is a feminine little girl, sometimes it's the world and culture of femininity, femininity as a very important characteristic of the time and humanity.
Works of Masha Semenskaya are very explicit, almost intimate, but this intimacy is barely audible, because, first of all, it’s muted by the powerful voices of the external world and feels its ineptitude, and if it could be heard in a loud voice, it would be exhibitionistic gesture, so it is quiet, it is not active, it is experiencing a moment of its existence, as these works are meant to face the outside world, intimacy gets cool, it is almost frozen. It sounds more clearly in the space of dreams.
The logic of the majority of paintings by Masha Semenskaya is the logic of sleep, their optics is optics of dreaming, optical toys and optical illusions.
"The dreams are meaningful for me as reality state that I know so little about, and the importance of which for me is so great. And then I remember my dreams, I think that my understanding of the real world around me is permeated with strangers’ tips. Who am I today? Do I live in the world of imposed desires? Is the "I" indeed in the space of social roles - a self-deception, a hook on which anyone who wants to keep his voice in the real world gets on? Every modern artist knows that his personality is the mutilated result of a compromise with the world of art." - Says the artist.
These works combine images coming from different times and different areas of cultural experience - personal memories and evaluation installed with the interpretations offered by her external environment, and this traumatic joints, the boundaries of understanding and existence herself in the understanding of others, speculation, suspicion and reconstruction of external images of reality, other people's definitions of reality, aimed to form a single scale of values among all consumers of contemporary culture. Understanding that modern society has learned to judge people in terms of goods’ consumption, the most painful that can experience a creative person. The very existence of the stars industry provides the tasks to generate ideal images and models of the consumer
With blatant irony, almost sarcastically, the artist uses images, cliches and techniques of the luxury industry.
Repeated questioning of the authenticity of the meanings that are common to all senses, which operates Russia's corporate culture of contemporary art, puts Masha Semenskaya in a special position, forcing her to go her own independent way.
"Other people do know the answers to my questions, but there are no others in the world, the other reviews - these are parts of some other languages and worlds. I do not always hear them, and even was I there for real? "- Says the artist
Very often in her art work she moves almost by touch through adaptation to unadjusted, from clarity to confusion, trying to look at herself through other people's understanding of these identity formulas and charts of reality. This art truly raises the question of its essentiality.