area: Object-, Performance-, Videoart, Curator
Bergamot Group, Organic Work, 2010, Photo: Ludwika Gnyp
Bergamot Group, Performance Organic Life, 2012, Photo: Ludwika Gnyp
Bergamot Group, Action Flight, 2020
Volha Maslouskaya, Performance At Home1, 2018, Photo: Andrey Syman
Volha Maslouskaya, Performance At Home2, 2019, Photo: Vika Kharytonava
Volha Maslouskaya, Performance 8-hour working day, 2020, Photo: Tanya Arcimovich
Volha Maslouskaya, Video performance Work with the body, 2020, Kaptaruny
Volha Maslouskaya, Performance Almost white, but not white, 2022, Photo: Krzysztof Strozhyna
Volha Maslouskaya, Postcards from Homeland, 2023
Volha Maslouskaya creates performances, video art, objects, photography and paintings.
In 1998 she founded the Bergamot group with Raman Tratsiuk. Together they create performances, videos, photography, and objects, and do curatorial work. In their longest series Organic Life (since 1998), they focus on subjects of communication, violence, gender relations, and social roles. In another series, Biophilia (since 2002), Maslouskaya and Raman Tratsiuk interact with nature. In the third and most recent cycle Organic Work (since 2009), the artists reflect on the fluidity of the statuses of curator/performer/artist/author and spectator. It is an open-call for an idea or a script for Bergamot group performance.
Volha Maslouskaya works with concepts of control, power, boundaries, exclusion, marginality, introspection.
Since 2016, she has been curating Saraj art space in Brest, Belarus. In her art and curatorial project At Home the theme is safety, home, the homeland, personal space, personal boundaries and their violation; it´s also about activism and decentralization of the cultural field.
For the artist it is very important to interact with place and context, to overlap and involve in mutual interaction in different fields of knowledge and with different communities.
On the territory of her private house and backyard, she made her old and dilapidated barn open to the public as a space where contemporary art in its most diverse forms could be exhibited without being subject to risk of censorship. This project was marked in the rating by Blok magazine in 2019.
Postcards from the Homeland are postcards issued by the state post, dedicated to important public holidays of Belarus. On them Maslouskaya embroider short communiques taken from the state media, interviews of high officials, from the websites of the KGB and the Interior Ministry, in which they describe their vision of what is happening now in Belarus. Also she embroidered on this postcards fragments of instructions for behavior in emergency situations and hostage-taking.
In 2021, the artist started teaching a course “Performative Practices as a Way of Interaction” at the European College of Liberal Arts in Belarus. Now, given the situation in Belarus, this cooperation, hopefully temporarily, has ceased.
Volha Maslouskaya hast taken part in over 70 exhibitions and festivals, among which – “New Art of Belarus” and “European Performance Art Festival” (Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw), “Public Rituals. Art/Video from Poland” (mumok, Vienna), “Third Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art” (Moscow), “Hotel De Inmigrantes – Cosmopolitan Stranger” at “Manifesta 9” (Hasselt, Belgium), “Every Day. Art, Solidarity, Resistance” (Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv).
She curated over 20 projects in Belarus and Poland, including “The 1st Belarus-Poland Festival of Contemporary Art” (Brest, Belarus), “Alien Art” as a part of “Mediations Biennale” (Poznan, Poland).
2023 Postcards from the Homeland, exhibition during the residency, Halle 14, Leipzig, Germany
2022 "Almost white, but not white", Saraj, Brest, Belarus "Good as Hell: Voicing Resistance", Secondary Archive on Manifesta 14, National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo "Conversations", Old Brewery Art and Business Center , Poznan, Poland "No title", International Malta Festival, Poznan, Poland "Coalition", Domie, Poznan, Poland "When language is lost. Possibilities of art in the face of war: one day with Anti War Coalition", Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany "A Forest Marathon / pARTisanka-Party", HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Germany
2021 "Everyday. Art. Solidarity. Resistance", Mystetskyi Arsenal National Cultural and Art and Museum Complex, Kyiv, Ukraine "Performensk", performance festival, Memorial Museum-Studio of Z. Azgur, Minsk, Belarus "Gray Mandorla Manifest", Gray Mandorla Studio, Poznan, Poland
2020 "Belarus / Art Of Resistance", Arti et Amicitiae Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland
"Belarus: The Square of Change", Perron West, CK Utrecht, Holland "We Are People", Labyrinth Gallery, Lublin, Poland
"Impersonal", KH Space, Brest, Belarus
2019 Status Research Platform congress-performance of workers and women of culture, Lo-Fi Social Club, Minsk, Belarus.
"Disease as a Source of Art", National Museum, Poznan, Poland
"Organic work", Saraj, Brest, Belarus "Let's talk about death", Arkadia, Brest, Belarus
"Forbidden Zones", KH Space, Brest, Belarus
2018 "Zbor in progress" Y gallery, Minsk, Belarus
"1 performance, 1 film, 7 jackets, 14 drawings, 19 poems, 23 photos", Saraj, Brest, Belarus.
2017 "Border line", Arcadia, Brest, Belarus 2016 "ZBOR. Belarusian Art Movement", Izolyatsia, Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Kyiv, Ukraine
Within the framework of the residency at MQ Volha Maslouskaya will start the implementation of the second part of the Postcards from the Homeland project.
The project will be based on a collection of postcards purchased by the artist from the state post offices in Brest during 2021-23. These postcards depict beautiful views of the cities of Belarus. This series of postcards is issued with the slogan Welcome to Belarus. On the reverse side of these postcards, in the field intended for the message, Maslouskaya will embroider fragments of the instructions that she found on the website of the law enforcement agencies of Belarus, it is an instruction for behavior in a situation when a person is taken hostage.