Anna Jermolaewa has got a gift. That of turning ordinary objects into
something extraordinary. And she does that without resorting to any
digital tricks. Her use of the video camera is as simple as the subjects
she chooses: toys, in the case of this exhibition. There are no special
effects added in the computer lab. There is no complex editing. The
images unfold straightforwardly, the way life does.
Toys are dangerous things when brought into the contemporary art space.
They are dangerous because of the risk of misunderstanding the artist
for the adult who does not want to grow up, or, even worse, for someone
who wants to speak to the child in every of us. Luckily, this is not
Anna Jermolaewa’s art. The “games” she plays with her toys have very
little to do with childhood, because they speak of the grown-ups’ world,
of its dangers, obsessions, incongruities.
Anna’s toys have the power of being entertaining and scaring at the same
time. The dolls are pretty little things, but they are doomed to fall
one by one under the creepy sound of gunshots; the little car is amusing
in its drive along a fluffy carpet, but it obsessively knocks against
the camera’s lens (that is to say, against us, the viewers); and the
dogs are cute soft little creatures, but their flashing eyes make them
look like demons rather than friends.
These are very simple games to play. Although, behind them it is
possible to glance at the complexity of the world we live in. Maybe,
only maybe, they hide hints of the impossibility of sharing the same
space without hurting each other, or being hurt by someone who wants to
control us; of the obsession of keeping everything under constant watch;
of the danger of using protection as an excuse to dominate. Maybe, only
Come and play with Anna! At your own risk, of course. You have been