As part of Debris on a Luminous Plain Centrala is organising a film screening to raise an awareness about The Great Purge – political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938.
Both the artist’s grandmother and great grandmother were exiled to the Kazakh steppe during the Great Purge and the image of the vast unconstrained land for Grotova distorts notions of freedom associated with nature’s vast spaces into the image of repression.
The steppe, with its temperature extremes, freezing winter and scorching summer, hot days and icy nights is both beautiful and hostile for the human. No prison walls were needed in the camp as escape meant facing the nature and losing the fight for survival. Low shrubs and no change in elevation made every figure visible for miles, leaving nowhere to hide. The horizon marked the boundary of the natural prison.
At that time at least 750,000 people were executed, more than a million other people were sent to forced labour camps, known as Gulags.
Olga Grotova (b.1986, St Petersburg) is a London based artist. She has graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2016 and has since exhibited in the UK and internationally. Olga Grotova was a member of the Malarmé for the 21st century working group lead by author Tom McCarthy in 2015-2016. In 2018 she organised a performance titled “The First Reading of the Book” with the members of the group at Mimosa House in London. In 2012 Grotova produced a publication “A Joyful Archipelago” with the support from the Outset. In 2016, Olga Grotova was shortlisted for the South London Gallery Graduate Residency and the same year for the Land Securities Award. Selected exhibitions include Mimosa House (London), Coventry Biennial, Osnova Gallery (Moscow). Grotova has previously exhibited at Centrala in 2016 as a part of ‘Seventeen’, a three-person exhibition, where she showed paintings and her video work ‘One’ (2016).
START: 6.15 PM