M: I majored in graphic design and advertising in St Petersburg, but this particular series was made purely intuitively. I didn’t know anything about modern art back then and didn’t know any artists. The influence may be explained by the fact that I was living there and breathing the same air. My immersion into art context happened suddenly, which is very typical of me. I just find myself in the whirlpool of events.
A: Do you mean you woke up one day and decided to be an artist?
M: Of course not. There was an art school, university, and an immense desire to be an artist. But what kind of an artist, what I was supposed to do – I had no idea. It was my lucky chance when I met curator Lisa Savvina. She had just started working in AL Gallery. It was summer, the director of the gallery was on vacation, and Lisa decided to make a show for me at her own risk. Then the owner of Moscow’s art gallery “Gridchinhall”, Sergey Gridchin, got interested in this series.
A: Was he in Saint Petersburg then?
M: No-no! He actually saw my pictures on Facebook.
A: Not bad!
M: He saw my work and said to me: “Come along, we will do an exhibition”. So, without much hesitation, I came to Moscow. The funniest thing is that this series was sold twice. One of the visitors bought everything. And then right after him another person bought four pictures out of ten. Can you believe it? It was like kicking the door into the art scene open! Even seems somewhat impolite. Everybody goes through thorough education, Rodchenko’s school of art… Sergey Gridchin was one of those who advised me to continue my studies, but the voice in my head was arrogantly brushing them all off, “Let them all go to hell”… I don’t know whether it was a mistake, but I chose the empirical way. Sasha Evangeli played a huge part in this process, having saturated my brain with art conceptions. He was curating my exhibition at the “Factory”.
A: About Sexuality and Soviet sport?
M: Yes. This series was also successful. It was nominated for Kandinsky prize, and another wave of luck got me to the next level – I met Maria Pecherskaya. We have now been working successfully for four and a half years.
A: There is an episode with “Tremendous Chicks” in your artistic bio. What influence has this project had later on?
M: Yes, it was another coincidence that our paths crossed with Ksenia Sorokina and Vika Marchenkova, and we started working together. It was my first experience with video and performance, they were completely new mediums for me. But Vika knew video inside out. After our collaboration had come to an end, I realised I wanted to work with video further, and my first performance followed.