Anna Irina Russell

Residency and exhibition in L’Écart, Quebec, in Marc 2022. Thanks to the collaboration of L’Écart.

« Lo que digo nunca es lo que digo sino otra cosa »

On the fringes of tangible, obvious, even garish information, lies unconscious communication, the residual, non-hegemonic message. The artist Anna Irina Russell bases her research on these codes that slip out from under our noses, but which nevertheless infiltrate and accumulate in us and everywhere. Behind the tree, the forest…

Mammals, plants and the cosmos communicate. Through the emission of waves, vibratory codes, or beams of light, living things talk. Sometimes, it is at its own peril that it emits signals, messages. As soon as the animal or plant, whose primary needs are intrinsic to its survival, manifests itself, it places itself in a state of vulnerability, possibly attracting predators towards it. Anna Irina Russell captures these moments of acute tension.

Through stretchy materials, the surrounding indiscernible conversations are captured in stretchy envelopes, membranes that swell to the limit, to the point of overflow. If the film holds, then congestion threatens, perhaps haemorrhage, worse, external crisis.

Lo que digo nunca es lo que digo sino otra cosa is taken from the book “Agua viva” by Clarice Lispector (p.35).

Text by Alexandre Castonguay

Anna Irina Russell [Barcelona, 1993]
Her artistic practice uses play as a tool for her research on codes of communication and interaction. She enjoys working on ways to transmit information and the manipulation of that transmission, through the emphasis on certain pre-established structures when we communicate. She works with both the distortion and folding of her materials, as well as inhabiting the interference in actions where she questions the spectators or participants in a more direct way. Both in the actions and in the installations with which she develops her practice, there is a real-time and live component that makes her understand the public not as an object, but as an essential subject that becomes part of the action.

Graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona (2015) where she later completed the Master’s Degree in Sound Art (2018). She is one of Hangar’s long-term resident artists (2019-22) and she is an educator at MACBA, where she is also part of the MACBA Web Radio Working Group. She has recently presented an individual exhibition at Écart (Rouyn-Noranda, Canada) and at the Bombon Projects gallery during Art Nou 2020. She has also shown her work at MACBA (Lorem Ipsum 2021), La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Blueproject Foundation (Bcn), Salón (Madrid), CCCB (Bcn), Cityart (Milan), Westwerk (Hamburg), Fundació Suñol (Bcn), among others. She has participated in various artistic residencies such as Wysing Arts Centre (UK), Écart (Canada) thanks to the Homesession grant, GYCF 2019 (Jeju, South Korea), Reitir (Siglufjörður, Iceland) and Sketch’m Up (Marseille).