Sofia Duchovny – Private Viewing @ Kunstverein Göttingen

Pictures by Marius Land

Sofia Duchovny‘s work is characterized by ambivalence between private and public, that which is meant to be seen, and intimacy and authenticity. The artist manages to translate these fields of tension with humor and a disarming sense of emotionality.
In her solo show at Kunstverein Göttingen, Duchovny continues her occupation with the artwork as a flexible and non-passive object. Inspired by visits and residencies abroad, she takes the nomadic lifestyle of an artist as a starting point to develop a series of foldable sculptures that can potentially be transported in a suitcase and subsequently assembled by one person. Therefore, she stretches tulle, lace and net fabric between poles taken from tents and pavilions, and compliments these with lacing and embroidery. The resulting sculptures are autonomous, flexible and all-encompassing. Her practicability and presence are however contrasted by the light and transparent playful materials that add a sense of romance and melancholia. For this exhibition, Duchovny adds light sources to the room-in-room structure casting shadows, which accentuate the already present materiality of the sculptures.
A shared roundness shapes the sculptures and the pastel-colored paintings. The series of five watercolors, „Heart-shaped box“ (closed, ripped, open, stung, creeping) reference the premises of speed and flexibility, similar again to the sculptures. The heart-shaped boxes stand symbolically for containers of memory. Duchovny‘s ambivalence towards the inside and out, which she develops in the sculptures, is also applied in a painterly manner onto the two-dimensional space of the canvas, arousing perspectival irritations. On closer inspection, the heart-shaped boxes seem to be concurrently open and closed. On the one hand, they open a view into the inside, but on the other are permeable like skin or membrane, with incisions or wax seeping out. The border between inside and out is undefined throughout. The artist mires the viewer in her imagery of dogs and insect legs, feet protruding from under covers, but also bullet holes and fences. With the help of these miniatures and icons, Duchovny manages to build a vocabulary for a personal, as well as universal language.

Curator: Tomke Braun

Sofia Duchovny (*1988 in Moscow) lives and works in Berlin. She finished her studies in 2014 at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main as master student of Monika Baer. In 2016, she participated in the Berlin Program for Artists. Her work has been exhibited at Künstlerhaus Bremen (2018), Kunstverein Hannover (2017), Between Bridges (2017) and Kunstverein Braunschweig (2017), amongst others. In 2016 she undertook a residency at HIAP in Helsinki, Finland. Her exhibition at Kunstverein Göttingen is the artist‘s first institutional solo show, on the occasion of which an artist book will be published.