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NOW: HESTER ST.
January 15 - 21

TONGUE TIED DIVER

A Solo Exhibition by Alina Yakirevitch

 



Naked. This is how each human is born. No adornment, no labels, no identity; just wiggling and wailing as we find ourselves outside of the protective chamber we were familiar with. For most of us, this rude awakening is immediately compensated for by the warm embrace of Mother. For the first few days, months, even years, Mother is our identity. It is in Mother that we initially see ourselves. Slowly, however, we begin to realize that Mother is a unique entity outside of ourselves. Laconian theory posits that the mirror is primarily responsible for this change in self-perception and formation of the self. Whether or not this holds any veracity is besides the point: around the first year, the child becomes aware that its body and mind are its own, something it controls and one of the few things no person can take away.

With this realization, a plethora of emotions and experiences become available to us. At the same time we become an individual, we begin to obtain the sentience that connects us to each and every human. Within this wide breadth of sensations we will encounter, two specific phenomena seem to possess a central place in the human condition: Love and death.

Tongue Tied Diver, a solo exhibition of two new bodies of work by Alina Yakirevitch, explores these two chief experiences. A short film titled BLUE LAKES AND GOLDEN CUPOLAS confronts the harsh realities of addiction with the sensitivity and expertise that the subject requires. Inspired by the poem The Call of Morphism, Yakirevitch’s cinematic language conveys the sensation of coming to terms with death. A solo dance amongst the wayward roofs of Brooklyn at dawn becomes a dance of death, with frantic gyrations that can only be abated by Mother Nature’s blue-chilled veins. But fear not, for it is only by confronting mortality that one can take stock of one’s life in a truly transformative manner, facilitating the start of renewal.

This process of self-healing has the benefit of opening up our minds to experience the wide range of emotions we as humans are capable of, including love. Indeed, Yakirevitch’s Silk Ice—a series of photographs of her romantic and sexual partner— captures but a spectrum of affection. Upon contemplation of the artworks, a dichotomy emerges, highlighting the presented objective body and the private intimacy shared by the subject and photographer. This series arose out of the artist’s fascination with the fastidiousness with which feminine individuals get dressed. The subject exudes an unpretentious demeanor, a result of the genuine connection between her and Yakirevitch. Yet, the presence of the artist’s mother country, in the form of mementos collaged on the surface, complicates these portraits. It is Yakirevitch’s identity as a queer Russian woman that ultimately reflects back to us through this tension of adoration and hostility.

In the delicate dance between morality and love, Tongue Tied Diver invites us to contemplate the intricacies of self-discovery, embracing the transformative power of confronting our own mortality and the profound connections that weave through the tapestry of humanity.  

- Oleg Mindiak

Both the artist and curator express their solidarity with the Palestinian plight, recognizing the gravity of the atrocities inflicted upon Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Concurrently, they acknowledge the privilege inherent in organizing an art exhibition, underscoring the importance of using their platform to raise awareness and foster dialogue about the ongoing challenges faced by the Palestinian people. We call for an an immediate end to the genocide and the rehabilitation of a free and autonomous Palestinain State.