trash aesthetics

“I hoard therefore I am”, was the statement that Yelena used to present her self-branding research at ArtEZ in 2014. In the leaflet that she created based on her research into Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding, Yelena imagined herself as a packrat “burrowing into the fabric of experience to extrapolate treasures through consumption and digestion of my habitat”. She used this imagery because this animal reminds of Yelena’s own practice of hoarding and creating her environment. Packrats are nest builders, they use materials from their environment to build nests that may preserve the materials incorporated into them for up to 50,000 years. Thus, enabling scientists to study the environment that persisted at the time the nest was built. Similarly, to packrats, Yelena collects objects that are signature for the time she lives in. She uses these objects as material for storytelling. The visual stories that Yelena creates follow a certain aesthetic that she developed during the self-branding course. Initially Yelena was inspired by observations of strategically placed garbage and placement of objects in art exhibitions. It is fascinating how random objects gain museum value through means of presentation. Objects are put against white walls, on pedestals, on elegant mannequins and inside long glass cases with backlight. In this way a space is created that focuses attention on the centre. It is this aesthetic practice that Yelena appropriated into her own artistic practice.

  • art
  • year: 2016
  • medium: print
  • dimensions: A4 x 18 pages

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Yelena Myshko
art & theory
Zutphen, the Netherlands