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Masha Mаroz

  • artist
  • designer
  • этнографка
1991
© фото: Ира Джигило, 2020

Междисциплинарная художница, дизайнерка, этнографка, педагогиня.

Основательница и кураторка платформы Past Perfect, посвященной сохранению и популяризации историко-этнографического наследия Беларуси. Исследует связь между витальностью, мифологией, ритуалом, эскапизмом. Работает с беларусским контекстом, отражая через синтез архаики и постиндустриальности трансформационный потенциал традиционной культуры в доминирующей социально-политической матрице. Коммуницирует через инсталляцию, текстиль, фотографию, графику, малые формы декоративной пластики.

Живёт и работает в Минске.

Selected events

Selected Artwork Series

Selected artworks

Associated institutions

The artist about herself:

"Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another.”.

“Every subatomic particle interacts with everything at any given moment.“.

My practice is a way to “awaken a memory to life”, to return to myself, to the beginning. I believe in the unity of everything existent and in every soul’s conscious choice of the place of its incarnation. My return occurs through the connection with my land and culture.

I was born in Belarus. Since childhood, I have perceived the historical injustice towards my country as a personal matter. I have grown up with dreams of national revival reached through enlightenment and creativity which I would dedicate my life to, just like my parents did.

Apart from the first three years, I lived under dictatorship – in Belarus, occupied by “Belorussia”, in the confrontation of two dimensions, which in August 2020 turned into a stubborn struggle of the living and the dead.

Unfortunately, in such conditions the personal always equals the political. I have always connected the experience of one’s presenсe in a given context to the process of continuous transformation of the dominant matrix system failures into vital energy, thus striving to bring into life the main idea of evolution – the expansion of latent potentiality.

While working with the preservation, researchб and integration of the Belarusian traditional culture into everydayness, I see myself as a bridge over the stolen contemporaneity rooted both in past and future.

I am concerned with the parallels between quantum physics, oriental religions, and the Slavs ancient worldview.

Inspired by the subtle poetry and accuracy of scientific and technical illustrations, I subconsciously strive to make my artistic statements as short and succinct as possible. My language addresses the archetypal beginning – the myth about the Structure of Everything, expressed by the the dualistic conception of nature and the principle of the hierarchical organisation of life.

I admire the isomorphism of weaving and computer programming, observing the similarity of the proliferation of schemes of traditional ornamental compositions and the architectonics of information and digital space. I am fascinated by the way insitinctive analogue objects of decorative and applied arts, with their exclusively linear constant time, use the symbolism and semantics of images to decipher the sacred knowledge, while folk costumes reveal our ancestors’ philosophical views.

As a part of my therapeutic escapist practice, I document the manifestations of “abnormal distortions of physical reality.” I identify the magical ritual constructs I come across in different urban locations as points of liberation of the vital and personal apotropaios on the map of reality.

I am interested in the primary state of ethnographic heritage (expeditions, archives research, collecting of weaving samples) in terms of its potential for the adaptation to modernity.

“The Long Way Home” project arose at the intersection of experiences, expectations, and thoughts about the political and socio-cultural situation in Belarus. Its presentation took place in June 2020. So far it has been my first and only solo exhibition.

The installation represented an allusion to the interior of a traditional house in Polesia region. I used it to reveal a matrix breakdown where the subject of the folk culture – the people – ended up, rather than the culture itself. Traditions are a channel that serves to share the information vital for the society. One cannot fake authenticity and establish control over the identity spontaneity. Unhealthily brooding authoritarian regime has blocked the modern, turning the naive and spiritual into primitive, nominal model of being. The use of the interior allowed me to reflect not only on the visual component of folk culture but also to present a sacred knowledge dimension that our ancestors integrated into the attributes of the interior decoration of their houses and everydayness, materialising the philosophy of home-creation and the organization of the living space.

My works function in symbolic, aesthetic, and social registers. I consider them not only as communication tools capable of changing the world around us, but also as independent tangible bodies, experiences, and ideas.

I use different media. This forces me to permanently adjust the internal settings and the way my thoughts are formed. Switching from one material/process to another requires time and psychological resources, necessary for mastering a new craft and gaining new knowledge. I clearly understand that it does not contribute to fruitfulness in the conventional sense or the ease with which my signature could be identified. But in the creation of artistic constructions on the “borderline”, I see an opportunity to preserve the valuable right of interaction with everything around me – the freedom to expand my identity.

Art paves the way into the depth of seeing and comprehending things by illustrating what cannot be expressed verbally. Following this path, I teach myself to give preference to synthesis rather than analysis, to move away from a strictly defined foundation of rational knowledge, and use it as a springboard for intuition and inclusiveness of imagination, to rely on my sensitivity – our culture has always been dominated by the crushing destructiveness of patriarchy, which affected my freedom and eloquence of my identity manifestations. The imbalance of female and male energies has led my country and the entire world to the crisis of power in a broad spiritual, socio-political, historical, cultural, and environmental context. “To be far is to return” – the patriarchal sun’s destructive fire can only fade away beyond the horizons of the new era. The cycle is over. A new one is about to start.

”I’m glad to be water. Glad to be a woman". – © secondaryarchive.org / Edited by Anna Karpenko and Sophia Sadovskaya (2022).

  • brest
  • clothing
  • ethnography
  • fashion
  • installation / working with space
  • minsk
  • object & object conceptualism
  • ornament
  • paganism