Masha Svyatogor

Kurasoushchyna, my love

Kurasoushchyna is one of the sleeping districts of Minsk, the place where I was born and grew up. Unremarkable, displaying typical Soviet mass architecture, a technical water reservoir popularly referred to as “a stink pot” and the railway, this neighbourhood began to develop its mythology in my imagination. I sometimes find it difficult to explain where this or that image came from or to draw a line between the truth and the play of my imagination.

Many of these works are related to my childhood memories and feelings, as well as relations with the city and Belarusian everyday life. In childhood, the typical and ordinary often becomes exceptional, full of mystery and magic.

The heroines of my series interact with the urban environment of Minsk and its suburbs in different ways. Some freeze in immobility and daze, in a state of drowsiness and melancholy immersing themselves in water like a dream, others hover in space, or escape from the city, flying or floating away from it. Attempts to build relationships with an alienated urban environment encourage heroines to blend in, fade into space, become part of it, assimilate, hide, find shelter, lay low. Sometimes the characters find themselves trapped, unable to influence the situation.

The scenes, largely consisting of various elements of everyday life, seem surreal, irrational and phantasmagoric on the one hand. On the other hand, these bizarre and absurd combinations reflect many phenomena of the Belarusian present-day reality which demonstrates quite some contradictions and paradoxes.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Masha Svyatogor (b. 1989) is a Belarusian visual artist based in Minsk. Graduated from the Belarusian State University (2013) where she studied philology.

Masha works on personal long-term art projects relating to contemporary issues, post-soviet history, society, identity. In 2017 she had her first solo exhibition “Kurasoushchyna, My Love” at CECH Art Space in Minsk, Belarus. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris, France (2020); Konstepidemin Art Center in Göteborg, Sweden (2019); Month of Photography in Minsk, Belarus (2019); Batumi Photodays in Georgia (2019); Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival (2019); Obscura Festival of Photography in Penang, Malaysia (2018); Chongqing Art Museum in Chongqing, China (2018); Triennial of photography Hamburg in Germany (2018); Fotopub festival in Novo Mesto, Slovenia (2017); Queering Yerevan festival in Armenia (2017); Warsaw Photo Days in Poland
(2017) etc.

Masha’s works were featured in GUP, Calvert Journal, i-D, Fisheye, FotoRoom, FK, Feature Shoot, Dazed & Confused Magazine, etc. In 2018, she received the Best Photographer award from the Month of Photography in Minsk festival.