Anna Škodenko (1986) is a multidisciplinary artist, whose work is characterised by a lyrical and analytical approach to her medium and visual image. The format of the work depends on the conceptual frame, which she creates through textual writing and which is conditioned by a specific place, context and theme.
In one of her earliest painting series “Idealistic” (2009, 2016) Škodenko intended to create a vision of a contemporary ideal society and present actual priorities conditioned by the information available and surrounding her. The series is based on Thomas Moore’s “Utopia”, for which Škodenko has found a figural equivalent in an elite neighbourhood near Tallinn. To present utopian scenarios, she has used her own image, placing it simultaneously in different poses and patterns of behaviour.
In several of Škodenko’s works it’s possible to sense a yearning for eternity. Her spatial installative painting series “Prisoner’s Cinema” (2014) depicting negatives of snow surfaces are painted on 10 x 16 cm aluminium plates. They were exhibited in small corridors, in which stools were placed in front of them. “Prisoner’s Cinema” describes the notion which is used for describing the experience of people who are placed in darkness for a long period of time. It examines how humans are unable to experience the lack of visual information and their capacity to start generating something from nothing.
The previous painting series continued with the exhibition “[field], which is nearly pure” (2016). The spatial installation of delicate chalk paintings and the floor covered with bubble wrap carpet was affected by the number of visitors. Images on the chalk boards were based on the negatives of snow fields of different dimensions. In each step, the bubble wrap placed under the carpet exploded and while moving to the bottom floor, the visitor could enter a labyrinth of synthetic material.
Škodenko has a special focus on literature and the philosophy of language in her work. In “Untitled [Thanks to H. C. Andersen…]” (2017) the artist used the motive of Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen”, in which imprisoned Kai has to construct words from ice cubes. This installation reveals a close-up of the artist’s studio maquette, hinting at her work process. “Reternity” (2017) and “Active Vocabulary — Passive Constructor” (2015) focus on the constructing of language and words in its infinite process. The installation “The whole thing looks senseless enough, but in its own way perfectly finished” (2018) is based on Kafka’s short story, about a creature called the Odradek. It is an installative environment of elements made with 3D pencil, in which the artist keeps complementing the work throughout the exhibition.
Anna Škodenko (1986) graduated from the painting department at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2009), complementing her studies at Chelsea College of Art in England and later in the Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow. Škodenko graduated the master’s program at Glasgow School of Arts (2017). She has been awarded with the Eduard Wiiralt prize (2016) and Köler Prize grand prix (2018). In 2019 Škodenko participated in a residency at WIELS Contemporary Art Center.