Gridspace “What To Where When” Solo Show, Crowne Heights, NY Dasha Bazanova’s Burnt Wood structure appears scarred and weak, a simple paradigm for our discovery of underlying truth. Truth though, as it happens, can easily be covered and obscured by religious and other frameworks that mimic its path. These frameworks demand that issues important to all human beings like the theoretical or the practical, metaphysical or physical, moral or social remain within their dogmas’ labyrinth. Any moving beyond those frameworks is viewed as in opposition to authority. These kinds of frameworks are unyielding, unchanging, unreasonable and uncritical of themselves. They are like ”skins” that overlay the underlying truth in order to co-opt it. Because of this, Bazanova’s act of burning of the wood can be viewed as a cleansing of these false “skins.” What remains is pure truth, which has been why the structure stays connected and standing all along.
Adorning and beyond the framework are Bazanova’s human figures in the form of ceramic matriarchal babushkas (perched like gargoyles protecting the cathedrals and great houses of the 12th century). But these grotesques are not symbolic of pagan evil as the Christian church of the day would view them. Bazanova’s babushkas represent hierarchal family wisdom, human history and personal memory. They are also very much welcoming of change, criticism and reason. Each figure, humorously partakes in, or holds, some contemporary activity or device, such as waving women’s rights protest signs, smoking from a bong, working with a laptop or talking on a smartphone.Artport Kingston, The Making of… Group Show, Kingston, NY