|“First, there is the old truth that ‘In the beginning is the body,’ with its desires, its powers, its manifold form of resistance to exploitation. As is often recognized, there is no social change, no cultural or political innovation that is not expressed through the body, no economic practice that is not applied to it.”|
Entering the gallery, a visitor met by a floor to ceiling colorscape, hanging under its own weight, a linen from the artist series “Bruises.” Alina started the series last year, responding to the violence and battered bodies on the news coming from her birthplace Belarus. On August 8, 2020 the nation came together in unprecedented unity to protest against the rigged presidential election of the man who has held power over the last 26 years, Alexander Lukashenko. Thousands of peaceful protesters looking for justice poured to the streets where they were met by authorities conducting indiscriminate beatings and brutal mass detentions, and dispersing crowds with truncheons, stun grenades, and water cannons. Over the following weeks, protesters made their battered bodies public to record the evidence of a human rights crisis in the country. Lukashenko claimed that the opposition fabricated the abuse and “girls painted their butts with blue color.”
“Bruise #16” (2021) watercolor on printed linen was created for this exhibition. Beneath it lies the text-based and site-specific work “Concrete Poems” covering the floors of the gallery. Alina brings together art historical references such as Dada and Brazilian “Concrete Art” and the literal interpretation of concrete poetry inspired by city scribbles, graffiti, and absurdisms.