For more than a decade, M HKA has been inviting contemporary artists to do ‘interventions’ that combine their own works with works from our collection. These exhibitions have been quite different from each other, with various amounts of works from the collection, sometimes even from other collections, and with or without new productions by the invited artists.
This edition of the series features Russian artist Olga Chernysheva. She has selected important works from the M HKA collection, by Francis Alÿs, Hans Eijkelboom, Antoni Muntadas and Hermann Pitz, but she will mainly show her own work from recent years: audiovisual installations, films, photographs and drawings.
The exhibition title was conceived in Russian. Derzhat’sya glazami means something like ‘holding on with one’s eyes’ and captures Chernysheva’s active and complex approach to her work. For her, vision is not just visual or visionary, but also haptic, social and philosophical.
Olga Chernysheva was born in 1962 in Moscow, where she still lives. Among her numerous solo exhibitions are ‘In the Middle of Things’ at BAK in Utrecht in 2011 and ‘Compossibilities’ at Kunsthalle Erfurt in 2013. She has participated in many international group exhibitions, such as the 6th Berlin Biennial in 2010 and ‘Ostalgia’ at the New Museum in New York in 2011. She represented Russia at the Venice Biennale in 2001.
Chernysheva belongs to the generation of Russian artists that emerged in the 1990s, a period of political and cultural vibrancy that also brought economic hardship to many ordinary people and made a chosen few (‘the oligarchs’) fabulously rich. With her formally sophisticated and subtly humorous work, she continues a long Russian tradition of critical and compassionate social realism – not to be confused with the socialist realism that was the official artistic doctrine of the USSR.