Olya Kroytor

kroytorBorn in 1986 in Moscow. Graduated from the artistic and graphic faculty of the Moscow State Pedagogical University (2009) and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2009). Solo shows: “SomethingNothing” (2011, Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art), “Split Personality” (2011, Regina Gallery, Moscow). Lives and works in Moscow.

For nine days, five hours a day, I repeated the exact same performance. I wanted to get a better un­derstanding of what exactly purification and memory are. I stood in front of the entrance to the gal­lery, dressed in white and barefoot, and held a bucket of water in my hand. When someone went in I, following my intuition, followed that person. As soon as they stopped in front of one of the works I would kneel, dip my hair in the pail, and start washing the floor around them with it. In this way, I was taking in all the negative memories, cleansing the karmic space, like a sponge soaking in all the pain, suffering, insults, evil, etc. That contact with the person, wordless and very intimate, was very important to me. All the while I didn’t look the visitors in the eye and, what’s more didn’t speak to them. Unexpectedly, this turned into a research project of sorts. Into myself, into the others around me. Kneeling before someone, like a servant, I overcame many personal issues, most importantly shame. Every time was like the first time, every new person evoked completely new feelings. I felt as if I was invading the person’s karmic space, and in terms of their perception of what was occurring there were several stages. At first, the person doesn’t understand what’s going on, gets scared, and almost runs around the gallery for the first 10 minutes. The second stage is acceptance. The person figures out that they’re not in any danger and starts trying to understand what’s happening and why. And the third stage is when the person can’t exist without you anymore – he or she doesn’t leave the gallery for a long time and keeps coming back, wishing that it won’t ever end.

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