Olga Zhitlina (Jitlina) (b.1982, Russia)
On the one hand I could say that I see my art practice as a continuation of the Russian tradition of socially engaged art which was started in the second part of the 19th century by a group of painters called Peredvizhniki. Even though I’ve always hated the dominance of gray and dull brown in their palette, I fully share their responsible approach to art pieces as public statements and their profound interest in social problems.
On the other hand, in my work I`m trying not just to describe or protest the tragic situations in which history, government and our own passivity puts us but also make attempts to find ways out of them with tools like humor, paradoxical interpretations and imagination. Being a product of pure love between a Russian man and a Jewish woman I consider myself a perfect example of successful national integration, and thus I believe that better scenarios for the class-national policies in the post-Soviet territories could be formulated.
This and other topics such as urban transformation, post-soviet history, gender issues in the epoch of Ikea and Inernet are the problems I`m trying to analyze as well as trying to envision various scenarios for their further development together with my collaborators: human rights advocate Andrey Yakimov, urban studies researcher Dmitry Vorobyev, artists Alejandro Ramirez, Anastasia Ryabova, David Ter-Oganyan, Chto Delat group, cineasts Kirill Adibekov and Alexander Lyakh, photographers Katia Sytnik and Aliona Chendler, graphic designers Tatyana Alexandrova, Nadezhda Voskresenskaya, Olga Krokhicheva, writer and translator Thomas Campbell, singer Amy Pieters and my family Victor, Katia and Galina Jitlins.