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Conceptual artist Alina Khalitova recently immigrated from Russia because of her anti-war position. The completion of one stage in her life, followed by immigration, led her to see and analyse her art practices more clearly.
At the exhibition Way to Light, we have selected works most indicative of the direction Alina has taken to develop her thinking in recent years. She explores four main areas in her art: space, light, visual perception and context.
Alina has an art historian background and considers everything in a socio-cultural context; therefore, her works are almost always site-specific. The artist notes she likes the intimacy of meeting her work with viewers when it is located in an unexpected place. She believes that this provides an opportunity for elitism to be removed from the exhibition space where the work is usually displayed.
Since her first works, Alina realised that she was fascinated by light, its nature and the effects it produces. Initially, she performed photosensitive experiments with analogue photography, trying to document the moment when light, as a substance, physically presents itself. As she pursued this, her attention shifted towards visual perception.
She explored what happens inside the image frames and how parameters, such as the horizon line, perspective and composition, affect subconscious perception. The result was the Crisis of Evidence series, where she experimented with impossible human visual experiences in the natural environment, such as a reverse perspective and two simultaneous suns. She decided that her art would not carry any plot or emotional motive but would be analytical. A clear understanding was born that aesthetic means of expression and form should be kept to a minimum. Alina’s next step was pushing the boundaries of the human visual experience and working with landscapes allowed for less narrative and plot presence and more immersion in the visual experience.
A large-scale (80m2) photo installation 1 x 1 = 1 continued her study of the common edges of light, reflection, visual perception, and context, which became her main direction. The same approach appeared in the White Noise project, where light and reflection were presented with the sudden discovery of an artwork in an unexpected place.
The exhibition Way to Light brings together the works of Alina Khalitova from the past 15 years. This exhibition is definitely retrospective and includes a series of internationally award-winning works such as the photo series the Crisis of Evidence and the object Reflection. Also, works that have become vital in Alina’s art practices are the photo series O (0, 0, 0) and parts of a large-scale presentation 1 x 1 = 1. Since most of the work is site-specific and taken out of context, exhibition copies will be provided with a detailed description. It will also be possible to listen to the information in audio format.
The Way to Light exhibition is at the Atticus Arts Gallery (11a Queen Street, Bath, BA1 1HE) from April 15 to May 15, 2023.
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