article | Olya Muravina

One has to imagine the whirling of comets, planets, asteroids around a star – it helps to understand how Olga Muravina’s exhibition captures viewers with its field and suggests orbits and nature of movement.

The exhibition ” Slight Oblivion” brings back the forgotten and displaced. As if we meet ourselves, recognize voices from childhood, and feel our vulnerability to the world. We have almost forgotten how to be defenseless. The sculpture speaks to us from the depths of childhood. This experience seems intimate to us because of the place of expression.

We have become part of what frightened us. Now the world is ours, it is safe. It’s hard to hurt us. But inside ourselves there is no time, there is always as it is now. From within the self one cannot see his heavy gaze, under which the world dulls, unchanging and different for all – and after all. In the exhibition it is being transformed and made alive. The operator of the magical transformation is the gaze from childhood. The entire sculpture is inspired by this gaze. For Olga it is a Castalian spring of natural modernism, although childhood itself is a continuous metamorphosis, a performance of organic rebirth.

Perceiving directly, the child’s gaze discovers the original wholeness of the world and names it anew, freeing it from the weight of adult things and signs. It is the world of a subtle dream between play and art, and it is grandiose – and ephemeral. Olga enters there, guessing and translating into material the property of dream images to change and play; she understands their concern with the search for form, she is preoccupied with the same.

Olga Muravina is close to pure form. In her sculpture, both in large landscape works and in chamber, interior works, the laconic form balances between the grown and the created, the natural and the cultural, organic allusions and modernist reflection, between childhood and experience.

Form is always tactile and created by an intuition subordinating a formless mass. All monotheistic cosmos circles around this subordination, invariably commanding, masculine and concentrating the will of the Creator in the mythology of primordial creation. Olga is a stranger to the authoritative performance. The forms she creates are created out of a woman’s experience and clay trembling under her fingers. They are born and grow, guided, as in nurture, by the care of the being within and a silent conversation with it. Olga likes the format of small easel works that can be tactilely explored in the palms, transforming the unstable matter of the imagination into precise form.

She likes clay as a substance of tactility. Olga conveys the important subject of direct contact with reality, of bodily contact with it, through the character and psychological code – through the absurd, cute figures of children and animals. They evoke sympathy, empathy, and a desire to interact with them tactilely: to embrace, touch, stroke, touch. Their touching, read literally, returns the erased metaphor to its original density, and to us – the perspective of a child’s view of the world.

In her easel works, Olga galvanizes modernist universalism with her feminine experience, sprinkling the outer with the inner. Similarly, her landscape pieces, bridging art and nature, become figures of this shared boundary, autonomous double agents in the landscape, which they rewrite as a tranquil, soft space of play. Sprouting in the landscape, like the earth bubbles in “Macbeth”, they appeal to the elements that are contiguous to them, harboring in expressive form the beginnings of the stories that await us.

Disturbing our inner child with a reassuring plasticity, Olga Muravina’s works open up into an unpredictable dramaturgy of spaces and contexts. Even as nostalgic projections and toys for snobs, they are deep and mysterious. They are definitely connected by a common sensuality with us, which reminds us of our pets, like play, eternal childhood and the fact that they warm in sorrow and fill us with joy. At the same time remaining an investment and artistic value, a work of art. And they want nothing from us. Perfect companions for a long happy life.


Alexander Evangeli