Part of the Great Expectations project.
Sofia Gavrilova is a unique artist. She works using both her specialized artistic education and her “basic” education as a geographer. She systematically studies the territorial surroundings that influence people's emotions and behavior, which is to say that she works on the psycho-geography in the term's sense as developed by Ivan Shcheglov, the author of The Code of Rules for the New Urbanism. Sofia has studied the modern state of the territory of the Leningrad's encirclement during the Siege, she has photographed the empty premises of the Main Building of Moscow State University, she has reacquired the territory of the Novaya Moskva, which has been transformed into a vast building site, she has compiled an emotional map of pieces of ice, and given form to many more works of territorial research. In 2012 and 2013, Sofia Gavrilova was nominated for the Kandinsky Prize, and she is also a winner of the Stella Art Foundation prize at 9th All-Russian Competition in the sphere of modern visual art, INNOVATION 2013.
In her new project, Imaginary Territories, Sofia Gavrilova has created a lyrical picture of Russian landscapes and urban scenery that might have been created by modern artists of the Peredvizhniki (Wanderers) movement, not concealing from spectators the threat of the dangers, the delusions or the nagging anguish that are experienced by people engaging in visual communication. Whether it's a natural or a city horizon, in Gavrilova's works they always provide opportunities for emotional responses and reflections. To consider which specific, to use the words of the Situationists, “beaches beneath the bridge cobblestones,” to work out what the poet of Russian nature Yesenin might contemplate today, and what is, over all, the role of landscape, one of the lowest of classicist genres, only restored to its rights with difficulty a couple of centuries ago, and today requiring reconsideration within the democratic practices of modern art.