Julia Zastava

Julia Zastava

#borrow from future — shelter of incognizance in a space of constant transformations

Julia Zastava is a multimedia artist working with drawings, videos, installations and performance. She studied ballet, finished university for moving images in Moscow as a film / multimedia director and then studied arts in Academy of fine arts, Vienna. Her current practice is dealing with processes of transitions, questions of narrations, ideas of the uncanny, traumas, sexuality and magic.

Julia Zastava has been internationally exhibited in places such as Kubus EXPORT, Vienna / Austrian Cultural Forum, London / Topographie de l’Art, Paris / California Institute of the Arts: CalArts, Valencia, CA / Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow / Cutlog NY Video program, New York / MUSA startgalerie, Vienna / Zeitraumexit, Mannheim / National Center of contemporary art, Moscow / The State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg / Pump House Gallery, London / 700IS Reindeerland, Reykjavik / Roman Susan gallery, Chicago / XL gallery, Moscow / The Santa Fe complex, Santa Fe / Adds Donna gallery, Chicago / The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow / Parcours Saint-Germain, Paris.

Something must happen

HD Video / 08:00 min / 2016

‘Something Must Happen’ exposes a dream-like reality and shows a life based on a mode of consciousness that could be considered as entranced. In a series of different sceneries, Julia Zastava performs actions in an enchanted way. Even when on her own, she fulfils her tasks without questioning. Elements taken from computer games define the flow, a whip leads through the trip, before it gets finally burned. But, equally, the effort to escape pre-constructed habits ends in a prefigured mode. The other side, another possible solution, lies in the viewer’s eye. It is up to the spectator to anticipate more desirable outcomes. The fulfilment of the induced expectations lies beyond the screen. The video triggers, but does not unveil.

Why does the lady keep on peeling potatoes in the sleeping room? The whip knows. She fulfills duties like in a game. Jewels will be the reward. But only abstract ones, sketches of gems, whose colors seemed to have emerged into the sky, the waters or into a rainbow in a meditative closing scene.

Against the background of ubiquitous self-representation through pictures, videos and posts performing highlights and apparently “great” moments of life, this video points out the mere basic structures of human existence. By displaying a kitchen scene, a sleeping room, and by mentioning the birthday, one part of the work’s narrative is embedded in the most necessary elements of life. This is contrasted by a bright outside: images of nature and its sounds are taking place in the game, sometimes accompanied by an absurd action that in the end is not as threatening as the appearance of the knife inside the house in the beginning. The sublime suspense evoked by the given images might be dissolved through the video-immanent sequences in the viewer’s eye. However, these images might give a call to reach out beyond too.
— Philipp Levar