Do you feel lucky?
Are you somebody’s bitch?
Do you actually know what is going on around you
Are you in control?
“I’ve been asking these questions in my life, and in my work, for as long as I can remember.”
Anja Stenina aims to embody the essence of why artists make art – to stop someone and make them think about themselves and the world they are a part of.
Her work is about dignity and human worth, and the obstacles on the journey to a fulfilling life. Fundamentally, she is questioning concepts of free will and faith. She investigates patterns in fairy tales and everyday situations. Seeking to reflect the very personal, yet universally collective, experiences of living in contemporary society, she explores the idea of vocation and the choices people make, and the reasons or mechanisms behind them. She looks at the crucial moments and situations in peoples’ lives and tries to capture the moment when a person chooses a bad path.
Stenina employs various processes. She begins, for example, with interviewing the subject, then photographing them. They then progress to creating a scene of juxtapositioned narrative about the human condition within their everyday environment and their unrealised potential. Passing the subjective reality of that person through the prism of her imagination, the finished work can take many forms – paintings, installations, kinetic sculptures, short films, photographs, etc. Not being attached to any specific format, she believes that the idea finds it’s own way through a medium; being synaesthetic herself, she tries to adopt a multisensory approach with the hope that this will allow for a broader experience for the audience, allowing for a deeper empathic response.
The concept remains clear throughout this process with the aim of monumentalising the subject and mythologising them.