Irina Lotarevich, Refinery, exhibition view, SOPHIE TAPPEINER, 2020




Irina Lotarevich



Irina Lotarevich's second solo exhibition at SOPHIE TAPPEINER in Vienna is opening in January 2023.


Lotarevich’s practice is shaped by the intersection of her own subjective experience with larger systems. The minimal yet complex and specific forms of her sculptures reference architecture, bureaucracy, labour, and parts of her body.







The wall sculpture is made of a drawer-like aluminum form filled with locks and keys dangling from the sides). The sheer quantity and repetition of locks, divided into neat rectilinear compartments, evokes an obsessive mindset, while the drawer-like form also doubles as a plan of an apartment or city. The keys can be turned, but the locks don’t actually open anything; we face an exterior barricaded by locks that don’t offer access (to any interior). As the title Housing Anxiety suggests, the work could also refer to the precarity of navigating constantly shifting and unstable housing situations.





The floor-based metal work presented here is based upon functional storage boxes. The aluminium surfaces of these handmade objects are imprinted with an enlarged cast of the artist’s skin. With these works, Lotarevich explores ideas of compartmentalisation and the notion of the box becoming a parallel for the self, in its capacity as a vessel or container. With the skin’s imprint, the walls of box come to represent borders between an outer, social world and the inner, psychic life. The latter, containing thoughts, memories, desires and traumas, is gathered into archival bodies that may be moved, stored or unpacked.



Irina Lotarevich, Refinery, exhibition view, SOPHIE TAPPEINER, 2020




“Now that I have the furnace, and thus have secured my own means of production, I am more independent. A small magnet will help to separate the iron from the non-ferrous scrap for melting. Old artworks I don’t like can be cut down and melted. They did not have any market value or cultural capital so I might as well make use of them this way.”






Irina Lotarevich (*1991 in Rybinsk, Russia, lives and works in New York City and Vienna) studied at Cornell University, Hunter College, and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.


She has an upcoming solo exhibition at SOPHIE TAPPEINER and is currently featured in a group exhibition at Scherben Scherben in Berlin (DE) and will be featured in an upcoming exhibition at AND NOW, Dallas (US).






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