Maria Loboda composes installations and sculptures to investigate cultural codes, represented by pictorial signs and the grammar of various materials. Throughout her work, Loboda engages with the historical narratives attributed to certain objects and juxtaposes them with contemporary interpretations and modern references. Her research stems from the fields of poetry and history and leads to a formal equation of language and materiality. Thus, through the deconstruction and reorganization of common forms and symbols, Loboda has become a unique voice in what is described as contemporary archeology.
Loboda’s newest solo exhibition HER DARK MATERIALS comprises sculptures, installation, objects, which have been collided with various sources of violent gestures. Ripping, cutting, scratching......all disruptive, malicious yet controlled and calmly carried out. The title is in fact an enigmatic reference to John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The installation "Done on Imperial Command" incorporating cut across and ripped electrical wires mirrors the sensation of an ominous premonition. The dichotomy of the disruptive gesture and its meticulous effect is amplified by the presence of an Emerald Starling. Something delicate but possibly a part of the omen?
"The Dance of the Inhabitants of the House of Hypatia" are three wooden lightboxes with stained glass depicting torn fragments of possibly Turkmen-styled carpet. Were the time and corrosion the destructive force or yet another conscious violent act? The title here is a reference to a song performed by John Fahey and the tragic fate of Hypatia - the first known female hellenistic neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician and astronomer whose body was torn apart by an angry mass. The concrete reliefs titled "An Exceptional and Rare Wall Frieze in the Scythian Style" portrays a collection of various sgraffito from various cultures and historical periods.
It is a collection of Lese-majeste gestures: writings from Pompeii, vandalists’ engravings copied from the egyptian pyramids and greek temples, demonological writings and medieval apotropaic symbols and vulgar (or arresting?) graffiti from the streets of Paris. "My eyes fail in darkness - My eyes fail - My eyes fail in darkness, love" is a fragment from a posthumously published poem by James Joyce - Giacomo Joyce - a love letter about an illicit love affair, presented here as a comic-style reliefs echoing a dialogue between invisible participants. Finally....appears a small piece of "Faux Malachite", which is genuine.
Done on imperial command, 2020, electrical wires, Emerald Starling. Photo credit: courtesy of the gallery
Installation view. Photo credit: courtesy of the gallery
The Dance of The Inhabitants of the House of Hypatia, 2020, light
box, stained glass. Photo credit: courtesy of the gallery
An Exceptional and Rare Wall Frieze in the Scythian Style, 2020, concrete, pigments, canvas, steel, candle. Photo credit: courtesy of the gallery
Faux Malachite, 2020, genuine malachite. Photo credit: courtesy of the gallery
Featured image: Installation view, Maria Loboda, Her Dark Materials, 2020. Photo credit: courtesy of the gallery