Foundry Write Your Name
Foundry Downtown: I Write Your Name
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Until 9 February 2024, Foundry Downtown Dubai is housing I Write Your Name, a group show featuring eight artists represented by Alisa Contemporary Art Gallery from 2021 to 2023. These are Andrei Dmitrenko, Varvara Grankova, Anton Gudkov, Kirill Makarov, Kirill Mikhailin, Sofya Skidan, Diana Shliman, and Katerina Lukina. Displaying their diverse art pieces, the exhibition reflects on what drives our wanderlust and fuels our desire to escape. It also explores how we navigate the disconnect from places, people, and the past. 

The artists taking part in the show share a lyrical perception of the world, professional interests, and generational overlaps. Aware of the world’s imperfections, they take responsibility for its perception and harmonisation, applying surrealistic approaches to artistic expression. 

About the artists

Andrei Dmitrenko (b. 1990) is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Rastatt (Germany), who graduated from the Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok) and the Baza Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow). Drawing from Moscow’s Romantic Conceptualism, Dmitrenko’s practice includes video, installation, photography, graphics, textiles, sculpture, and text. Referencing the phenomenon of transformation in folklore and the imaginary world, in his artworks, Dmitrenko creates a universe full of additional meanings and melancholic memories.  

Andrei Dmitrenko, I WILL CLOAK ALL OF THE ETHEREAL POLLEN DISCOVERED WITHIN THIS REALM, 2023. Old velvet paper, mixed media.

In her work, Varvara Grankova (b. 1988), who now lives and works in Montenegro, employs installation and performance to examine human relationships including interactions between individuals, non-human entities, and the environment. The artist is interested in how historical and cultural contexts influence contemporary relationships. Lately, she focuses on the themes of non-violence, feminism, and ecology.

Varvara Grankova, Ten thousand needles. Clothes, needles. 3500 x 1200 cm.
Installation view at the First Feminalle of contemporary art, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2019.

Anton Gudkov (b. 1987), an artist and graphic designer residing in Moscow, freely swaps between different art mediums and techniques, which include abstract graphics, painting, collage, objects, and found materials. He has showcased his works in several exhibitions in Russia: solo shows at the CCI Fabrika (Moscow, 2021) and the Omsk Art State Museum (Russia, 2018); Point of Entry (the SPHERE Contemporary Art Foundation, Moscow, 2020); and the Nemoskva project (The Manege Central Exhibition Hall, St Petersburg, 2020).

Paris-based artist Kirill Makarov (b. 1988) works with various mediums including painting and computer graphics. His practice explores game engines and the dynamics between humans, images, and machines. In the hybrid spaces that the artist creates, natural, artificial, and algorithmically generated elements coexist. 

Kirill Makarov, 19.04.2022 (from the Unveiled series), 2022. Oil on canvas, 18 x 30 cm

Kirill Mikhailin (b. 1992), an interdisciplinary artist who now resides in Paris, graduated from the Baza Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow); he also studied at  Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design (Russia) and Toulouse Academie of Fine Arts (France). Mikhailin works with such mediums as installation, objects, graphics, and painting.

Kirill Mikhailin, Reasonable Doubt?, 2020. Paper, pencil, watercolor, mixed technique. 29,5 х 42 cm

In her practice, Bali-based artist Sofya Skidan (b. 1996) employs installation, performance, sculpture, and video to examine ways of perceiving the world as information. Her site-specific installations feature artefacts of post-digital reality juxtaposed with elements of a vanished natural landscape. The artist also incorporates Eastern spiritual practices alongside modern Western critical theory, reflecting on contemporary issues.

Sofya Skidan, Waste of Space, 2022. Digital print. 42 x 30 cm.
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Diana Shliman (b. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist. She is an alumna of the Krasnodar University of Culture and Arts and the Baza Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow). Utilising installation, ceramics, metal, painting, and sculpture, her main field of interest is the concept of the feminine, which she examines through the lenses of dark ontologies and psychoanalysis. 

Based in London (UK), Katerina Lukina (b. 1995) graduated from the Moscow University of Printing Arts (Department of Graphic Arts) in 2019. She works in a full range of mediums: from computer graphics to laser cutting on wood. The artist has taken part in a number of group exhibitions at the ISSMAG gallery, the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, the ZDES na Taganke gallery, and international shows held in China, Slovakia, and Poland.

To learn more about I Write Your Name, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

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