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Spotlight Interview: Arte Laguna Prize x Veronika Moshnikova

One of this year’s Arte Laguna Prize finalists is SINGULART artist Veronika Moshnikova, whose paintings, which have previously been exhibited in Hungary, Germany, Poland, and Brazil, will imminently be displayed in Venice’s Arsenal.

Using acrylics, oils, ink, markers and collage, the central themes in her work, the exploration of lost spaces, immigration, the concept of the home, mimicry, as well as time and space in a broader sense, unfold.

We talk to Veronika to find out more about her concepts and inclusion in the Arte Laguna Prize.

What is your background and how do you make your art autobiographical?

I was born and raised in Crimea in Ukraine. My mother, an artist, instilled in me a love of art, and I have been painting from an early age.

My works reflect my experiences and life events in a completely natural way – and are therefore autobiographical.

What do you find integral to your work as an artist?

Experimentation in the broadest sense of the word.

Time record on a light grey (2020)
Veronika Moshnikova

How does the notion of home affect your artwork?

For the first time, I asked the question “What is home for me?” in 2014 against the backdrop of political events in Crimea. Home felt like something stable, cozy, and native. But my home ceased to exist mentally. When I arrived there that year, I did not recognize the place: the border, the sound on the radio, the index at the post office, the license plates, money, food, people’s faces, a huge number of establishments closed, and others opened. The whole structure changed in a very short period of time.

I felt the need to pour my experiences into my work. I then made a series of silkscreens “Lost Spaces” based on my photographs.

Can cultural trauma be healed through art, or is it only a method of visibility?

Trauma can be recognized through the process, understood, and analyzed because it is something not fully understood in everyday life. “Healing trauma” may be too strong a statement, but in 2016 I began the “Time Record” series really to give distance to feelings and memories. A huge stratum of art is built on trauma and has a profound effect on us.

What projects are you currently working on?

In addition to painting and drawing, I’m starting to work on a 30-minute short documentary in the fall. But for now, I can’t reveal the subject matter.

I am also continuing the project “Time Record” which is important; and sometimes I explore time but more with a scientific approach, relying on physics. I do various experiments that require endurance, both physical and psychological.

Time record on a gray (2018)
Veronika Moshnikova

How does it feel to be a finalist in the Arte Laguna Prize?

I’m very excited about it! There are a lot of interesting artists in the Final and I’m looking forward to meeting them.

How and why did you apply to be a part of the Arte Laguna Prize?

I’ve known about the Arte Laguna Prize for a long time, and about the Arsenale space where the contest takes place. The last time I got an email from Singulart, I decided to apply.