Darja Shatalova searches for (alternative) structures, on a small as well as on a large scale. This is expressed in her research-based artistic practice, among other things through questioning systems of numbers and signs, in graphic encodings, data visualization, (re)interpretation and transformation processes. For „Pars pro toto“ she transfers her meticulous recordings, calculations, notes, drawings and notations, which are an essential part of her work and are collected and published in artist books, into a spatial-installative display. In her installation small private moments meet big questions, encapsulated in formulas, calculations, codifications and cartographies.
The title of the installation „Pars pro toto“ is inspired by the concept of fractals, coined by the mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot in the 1970s. Fractals are structures or geometric patterns that exhibit a high degree of self-similarity, for example, as objects composed of several scaled-down versions of themselves. For the walk-in installation she scanned individual sheets that also appear in her artist books, collages, combines and hangs them printed on transparent plastic films in a fragile scaffolding architecture whose proportions take up the concept of fractal geometry – one literally moves within Shatalova’s cosmos. Starting from the format of a DIN A4 page, mostly the initial surface of her writings, sketches and drawings, she designs a fractal architecture of introspection and socio-cultural investigation.
The entire architecture of the installation grows out of itself through constant ratios; the sizes of the individual elements, from the printed foils to the frame construction to the base and side surfaces, can always be traced back to the original format of the A4 pages or to the enlargement ratio of the DIN formats. The surface division and arrangement of the 158 printed transparencies results from a combination of random processes and an encoding method for which Shatalova draws on the Chinese I Ching (Yijing), a collection of line characters and associated oracle sayings.
Furthermore, through the use of her collected materials, she links thematic fields within her installation that constantly run through her body of work. Her preoccupation with mathematical problems and epistemological issues, with records and observations from her everyday social life, overlapping and combined individual and collective spheres that find their way into her tables, graphs, scores. Relationships and connections that emerge between the scans of drawings, colour and number coding, tabular forms and maps printed on the transparencies are loose and difficult to see through at first glance, although similar and repetitive fragments, both in terms of content and form, can be assigned to one another.
In this setting, Shatalova rejects linear chronologies and narratives in favour of a nested, associative information structure in which the most diverse dimensions relate to and overlap one another in equal measure, visually, as well as thematically. They are nevertheless subject to clear structural principles of order, which – if Shatalova has her way – appear again and again, everywhere in both the large and the small, in the diversity of our life’s realities, and so perhaps conclusions can also be drawn from parts (pars) to the whole (toto).
Parallel Vienna 2021 – Room B215. Project Statement: Darja Shatalova – PARS PRO TOTO invited by das T/abor
Address and contact:
Taborstraße 51/3, 1020 Vienna
Darja Shatalova – www.darjashatalova.com