lo3eto.brief.talks: ALEKSANDRA LASKOVA

Between October 22 and November 6, 2022, at lo3eto was presented Aleksandra Laskova’s  solo show under the title WEIGHT SHIFT, curated by Vanya Grozdanova

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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (installation view outside)
photo by Alina Papzova

The bruise is an interconnection of the soul and the body in a joint crash. It is a memory, a sign reminding of a shape you once lived, a mark that is allowed to last, the prostheses that we ourselves add to our self-association. Heavy, sticky, chronic. Until seen from another perspective.
The exhibition “Weight Shift” worked on the topic of the achievement of that shift – while browsing gently through intimate childhood memories embraced by a grown-up woman on the edge of entering her own maturity.
The works shown by the artist are placed in a contradiction of “in” and “out”. Acrylic paintings follow memories of harsh experiences stamped on a gentle inner world during family-matters contradictions. The construction of memories allows for the interlocking of facts and imagination, disclosing its own reality inhabited by our parallel self only until it decides to leave that plot for good. Sculptural assemblages reveal house-like objects made of former kitchen cupboards (that used to be present in the real apartment of the artist during her childhood) filled with toy-like objects. These sculptures intuitively observe the coping mechanism that bruises built for themselves to endure. Relocating the objects associated with the active idea of the past to an almost deserted place, leaving them to the will of the natural environment, is to be distinguished as an artistic and ritualistic gesture.
All are taken out, taken down, and exposed, thus burning the connection.

Aleksandra Laskova (b. 1991) is a visual artist, who also writes poetry, produces music, and has practiced contemporary dance. Her artistic education began at NATFA-Sofia (Scenography) and developed at NAA-Sofia (Textiles). In her work she experiments with various media such as collage, textile, digital photography, video, painting, assemblage. In her practice, she explores the intimate world and trauma, which she draws out at an intersection with social constructs. Her works have been presented in various group exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad – in traditional or non-conventional exhibition spaces, also in urban public space, as well as in the digital environment of social media. Some of those projects are: Contemporary Art Exhibition, within the 25th Biennale of Humor and Satire in Art: Economy of Means, 2022 (Gabrovo); the group show “Particularl Impulse” curated by Valko Chobanov, part of the program of FLUCA 2020 (Plovdiv); ART START 2020 with curators Lars Nordby, Stefka Tsaneva and Vesela Nozharova (at Credo Bonum, Sofia); ÖSSZEFONÓDÓ SZÁLAK, 2020, in MKISZ (Budapest); Onomatepoya 9 (Plovdiv); “Taking patriarchy apart” (2020) at Klub der polnischen Versager (Berlin); “Invisible Cities” – a project for artistic interventions in public space, curated by eXAF, part of the program of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019; the Mini Textile exhibition (2019), presented at Sofia Press Gallery-bookstore, etc. The present exhibition is the first solo show of the artist.



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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (opening, the artist with friends-guests)
photo by Alina Papzova



4 ch(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (detail)
photo by Alexandra Laskova


What is Art to you?
ALEKSANDRA: Art is how you experience life. I’ve had periods in which I’ve considered it mainly a way to express my individuality or to reflect my feelings about the world right back at it, but recently I’m discovering that both consuming and creating art are no different than living itself. Like eating or sleeping, basically – part of the human experience. 

How do you refer to yourself as a working artist and what do you sense as your direction as one?
ALEKSANDRA: I am surely an imposter. This is the feeling that overwhelms the idea of me as an artist. Probably this is why I delve into very personal and private moments in my work – I counterbalance the feeling of intruding with the sensation of oversharing.


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (details in the working process)
photo by Aleksandra Laskova

What/ maybe who inspires you to work?
ALEKSANDRA: To me, it feels like I, like all humans,  am inspired and curious at my core. I get frequently sidetracked and paralyzed by the horrors and wonders of everyday life, but feeling inspired feels like motion, like the kinetic fiber of fire.
I sometimes spend long painful periods feeling separated from this spark. And then, like magic the same people, alcohol, films, books, and travels that kept me from the nature of doing, return me right back to it. 

Which could be listed as the highlights / guiding points in your practice so far?
ALEKSANDRA: My work consists of two things – crosspoints and collages. I am interested in the intersection between our personal bubbles and those of others. Mixing things, especially mediums, so I can add perceived layers to my work – be it actual collages or digital/physical crossover (for which reason I work with AR), centers me – it just feels right and true to me in a way minimalism doesn’t.


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (installation view, detail)
photo by Aleksandra Laskova


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (installation view, detail)
photo by Aleksandra Laskova


Do you consider your practice as a somewhat “working with demons” approach? And is there a topic that scares you from approaching it?
ALEKSANDRA: For sure. Life is working with demons :) I wouldn’t say scared, but I definitely feel uncomfortable when I use my lived experience in my work. I can’t say there aren’t topics I am avoiding at the moment, as I don’t feel brave enough to express them, but I am slowly moving closer to stories of death and hatred and trying to find a soft or at least non-abrasive way of telling those. Art is definitely therapeutic as a way to air out and reorganize suffering.


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (installation view, detail)
photo by Aleksandra Laskova


Could you share more about your creative process in general? And how do you go digging a topic?
ALEKSANDRA: My process usually starts in bed, staring at the ceiling at night. This is when I feel my sharpest. I take thinking walks also, but in my bed, before I fall asleep is where I do a large portion of the thinking. I love mapping out all details of what I need and when long before I start working, all in my head –  it gives me a sense of calm.
Then I gather references or go on a midnight wikipedia rabbit hole search for information. Sometimes there are books or songs that remind me of the topic at hand, and maybe I write my own little tune for the project. For Weight Shift I was working in the apartment where everything I was reminiscing about happened, so I also listened to the music I used to listen to when I was little to bring me back in time.


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (installation view, detail)
photo by Aleksandra Laskova


How long have you worked on this exact exhibition project?
ALEKSANDRA: The idea was inspired by my reality – in May of 2022 I moved back into the apartment in my childhood in a neighborhood with a questionable reputation in Sofia. I took all the time between then and the exhibition itself in October of the same year to reflect on what has happened in my childhood and make peace with my living space.

What is this solo show manifesting?
ALEKSANDRA: I’d say liberation. Getting rid of past grievances in a ritualistic manner. Communicating trauma in a way that felt empowering. 


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (opening)
photo by Cossie Kokich

What is ahead in the near and further future of your creative practice?
ALEKSANDRA: I am still strongly interested in personal experiences and am going to explore femininity and performative aristism in my next works. I want, however, to try opening myself to topics outside the human experience as a personal affair, and try exploring collective themes. The pandemic and more recently – the war, have mobilized a lot of artists but it made me feel numb and incapable of experiencing my feelings through art specifically. I want to explore this blockage in the future.


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (opening outside)
photo by Cossie Kokich


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (detail)
photo by Alina Papzova


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (detail)
photo by Alina Papzova


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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (detail)
photo by Alina Papzova

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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (detail)
photo by Alina Papzova

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(c) Aleksandra Laskova, WEIGHT SHIFT (opening)
photo by Alina Papzova



(c) Prepared by Vanya Grozdanova, 2022