Maria Sumnina

SumninaHas had solo exhibitions in Moscow and New York, and participated in special projects for the 2nd Moscow Biennale (2007) and exhibitions of industrial design (London and Milan), as well as other events. Collaborating with Mikhail Leikin, was a finalist in the New Jersey 9-11-01 Memorial Design Competition (2005). Received the Grand Prix at FidExpo (2006). Has published several literary works, including novels and articles.

In her work, Sumnina continued the practice of combining text and image, which is a hallmark of the artists of the Moscow romantic conceptualism circle: Ilya Kabakov, Andrei Monastyrsky, Erik Bulatov, Viktor Pivovarov and Igor Makarevich. Each series employs the same principle: an image (digital collages or light boxes) and accompanying text. In her Atlas series, physiological illustrations from an old book have new and unexpected elements embedded in them, adding humor. The external events described in the accompanying text, the artist’s diary, have no relation to the image, and it becomes clear that the “ordinary” life of the artist is not her source of inspiration. Art is her antidote for commonness; it is a repeated action not unlike like knitting, but with the help of cutting-edge technology. Her Telenoise light box series is an attempt to defuse the phantasmagoric horrors of television reality that are always present at the periphery of one’s mind, by neatly deconstructing them. Television plots are retold, the moving image is reduced to flickering “snow” and the object of the story is turned into a visual sign. In this way, Sumnina neutralizes the mechanism of television, elevating the status of the viewer: a static image is subordinated to the viewer’s gaze.
Alexander Izvekov