Alisa Gallery presents Fountains of Bachikistan by Julia Shaforostova. The exhibition will feature works on paper from the Projects for Non-Functional Fountains of Bachikistan series and the Drinking Fountain installation.
At the Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, artist Yulia Shafarostova presented a project about the ill-famed Music neighbourhood in Krasnodar, steeped in urban mythology. She transformed the run-down estate into the Bachikistan Khaganate that abounds in culture and infrastructure: it has a sought-after resort, a garden, and an artist residency.
The dichotomy of the structure devised by the artist manifests through pairs of opposites: barely equipped public spaces become a popular holiday destination; weed-ridden urban wastelands and abandoned construction sites turn into a lush sprawling garden; residential kitchen gatherings serve as an artist residency. One of the real-life objects that brings the fictional and the real together is a fountain from the artist's courtyard – a piece of urban decoration that has not been in use for a single day. Bachikistan’s roads and courtyards are constantly flooded with rain and sewage, yet the fountain, a source of fresh water, persistently defies its purpose, becoming a symbol of meaningless and dubious luxury.
By directing her gaze at the fountain, Julia Shafarostova amplifies the existing contrasts. Every image becomes a junction for the absurd, opulent Middle Eastern form of fictional non-functional objects and meanings represented by Krasnodar’s endemic flora – clover, dandelions, plum and apple trees – all those fruit and plants the artist habitually gathers when wandering the grounds of Bachikistan.
Julia Shafarostova (b. 1991, Krasnodar) creates installations, works on paper and photographs, exploring the themes of identity and myth-making. In her works, she puts a great emphasis on the local context and situations and translates them into universal and accessible narratives.
Studied at the Khmel and Sukhoveeva School of Photography (Krasnodar) and KICA (Krasnodar Institute of Contemporary Art). Member of the Businki Art Collective.
Participated in the Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2020) and multiple group shows at the Typography Center for Contemporary Art (Krasnodar, 2018–2021).