Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

PERFORMANCE

May 31, 2021 - Irina Shkoda

In the dichotomy “being or seeming” I always choose seeming.
 
Usually, this word has negative connotations and means an imitation of an external form, a fake. But I take it as the entry point into the game. Taking over external attributes, a person inevitably lives a new emotional experience. And on the other hand: I am convinced that a person has no form other than a body. There is no stable ‘being’ that could be labelled as authentic or inherent only to one particular person. There is an environment that keeps matter in a conditionally stable human form and produces habits and beliefs.
 
I came to visual practice through my acting past where the ability to deliberately change different states was a must. I was then periodically told: ‘I don’t believe you, you just play’ (that is, you lie; you portray something that doesn’t exist). I was very much hurt by such a philistine view of acting techniques which has nothing in common with pretence. Rather, on the contrary, acting is the ability to be present in the moment and the way out of the automatism of routine. In this profession, first of all, I liked to gain experience; live it; feel with the skin.
 
This desire is still strong, and it expresses itself in the performative method, which I often use to get the shot. I think that soon performativity will go beyond photography in my practice, and I will combine visual with direct action in one project.