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Asya Reznikov to exhibit at Susquehanna University

An Artist on the Move

January 8, 2012
By MATTHEW PARRISH (mparrish@sungazette.com) , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

SELINSGROVE - "I don't feel at home anywhere but I like that," New York-based artist Asya Reznikov said. Reznikov is a perpetual journeywoman, having lived and worked in many places, including France, England, Holland, Italy, Germany and India. She was born in Leningrad, U.S.S.R., and moved with her parents and grandparents to the Boston area when she was five years old.

Reznikov became the first English-speaking member of her family and served as a translator and "bridge between cultures," as her website says.

The artist will be featured in "Up Routed For," an upcoming exhibition in the Lore Degenstein Gallery at Susquehanna University. An opening reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 21.

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The show will consist of Reznikov's artistic explorations of travel and immigration in a variety of mediums, including video-sculpture installations, drawings, paintings and photography.

"I've always been drawing and I've always been interested in architecture," Reznikov said. "Ever since I've started traveling, I've sketched a lot of architecture. I'm really interested in it because it reflects our culture. You can go somewhere without knowing anything and you can look around and figure it out. For example, Berlin looks like a city that's been through a lot of turmoil because there's so much different architecture."

Reznikov spent two years in Berlin as a part of a German Academic Exchange Service fellowship. She said that Berlin is a unique place.

"It's a depressed city and no one really works," she said. "Most of the young people are not employed. There is, however, a lot of space for very low rent and a lot of prominent galleries. There are many art and music-related events and, in a bizarre way, it's thriving financially because it's in the international spotlight. It's supported by international buyers."

Reznikov had several exhibitions in Germany during her stay: "Uebersetzung (Translation)" at Galerie-Open in Berlin in 2006; "D21: Salon 2007" at Kunstraum D21 in Leipzig in 2007; "Screenings" at Director's Lounge in Berlin in 2008; "Unterwegs nach Hause (Moving Home)" at Galerie der BASF in Schwarzhide, Germany; and "Querschnitt (Cross Section)" in Eberdingen-Nussdork, Germany in 2009.

During the time of her interview with the Sun-Gazette, Reznikov happened to be preparing to move again.

"There's a part of me that likes packing," Reznikov said. "The other day, I was packing and I thought, 'I hate this; all I do is pack and I don't have time to make art,' but there's a part of me that enjoys this process of containing and organizing and reflecting on something while you're packing it."

Reznikov has explored packing in some of her video-sculpture installations, including "Packing Art History," which shows the artist placing several art history books into a box. Another one is a video called "Secret."

"In the video, hands are shuffling and I'm moving stuff," she said. "It's about the process of looking at old things in a new way."

The artist said that the way she makes videos is to have her video camera with her most of the time and to collect video of things that she's interested in.

"For a piece like 'Baggage Claim,' there's footage of trains from around the world," she said. "I became interested in places of transit and videoed them everywhere I went."

Reznikov has hundreds of minutes of footage of trains, escalators and planes.

"I've been interested in the idea of the ascension of escalators," Reznikov said. "There's this perspective that up means good and down means bad ... but in my world, everything's cyclical. Everything that's going up is coming down."

Escalators are featured prominently in a few of her videos, including "Garden of Earthly Delights," an overt tribute to Hieronymus Bosch's epic oil triptych from the early 1500s.

In Reznikov's "Garden," one sees an escalator going up on the left and down on the right, along with a three-tiered display of feet on the move in the center.

" 'Garden' is one of the pieces that's wall-hung," Reznikov said. "The frame takes it's look from the Bosch painting - it's the same proportions and it actually closes. It's an homage but it has my concept and ideas."

The artist who's always on the move may be settling down soon, which scares her a bit.

"We're thinking of moving into a big house and it seems so permanent - way too permanent," she said. "It makes me nervous. I'm used to living in an apartment and I love the transient element of that."

The Lore Degenstein Gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. daily.

For more information about Reznikov, visit asyareznikov.com.

 
 

 

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