Irina Petrakova. Manifested by Disappearance
«Lollypop», хлопковая ткань, сахар, металлический каркас, 2015
Без названия, масляный карандаш на бумаге, 2020
«Автопортрет», масляный карандаш на бумаге, 2020
Без названия («Лежащая розовая»), акварель на холсте, 2016
Без названия, акрил на бумаге, 2017
Date: February 19 - March 30, 2021
Venue: ММОМА, Petrovka 25


Curated by Nikolay Alutin

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art is happy to announce a solo exhibition of Irina Petrakova exploring the changing relationship between the body and the environment. While the concepts of presence and distance continue to be reinterpreted around the world due to the ongoing pandemic, the project highlights the role played by unconscious and random actions in the process of body adjustment to the environment.

The exhibition is held in two rooms of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Petrovka. The first one displays graphics, embroidery, sculpture and video, created by the artist from 2015 to 2020. These works explore many themes and are made in a wide variety of techniques: abstractions, automatic writing, as well as a video study of religious sects, sugar sculptures on metal «crutches» — or frames — with embroidery on the shrouds and parchment. There is harmony in this polyphony: every work is a reflection of the body — it tries to fit itself into the space, reveals itself in it or is unable to escape.

In a small room right opposite the main hall, Irina Petrakova is going to cover the walls with new drawings every day during the first two weeks of the exhibition. The performance takes place behind a closed door, while visitors can watch the artist’s work through video broadcasting in the main space of the project. This distance is not only due to security measures during the epidemic, but is also necessary to present the bodily exploration of the environment as a personal experience.

When the artist’s work is finished, the doors of the exhibition room will open to the public. The viewer will find themself in a place that has been transformed through the corporeal practices of the author with images serving as a reminder of her presence. Instead of organic traces typical for humans, the viewer will see painting and graphics — the human is replaced by the artificial, drawing becomes experiencing.

A week after the results of the performance are displayed the exhibition will be openly dismantled — the visitors will be able to watch the drawings gradually disappear under layers of white paint. Having witnessed all three stages of the performance, the viewers will become aware of the cycle the ‘body’ of the artwork has to go through in the museum space.


Irina Petrakova is an artist and a co-organizer at the Center Red (Moscow, 2015-2018). Her recent solo exhibitions include: Come and Hide (Iragui Gallery, Moscow, 2018), Explain it to the Dark (Center Red, Moscow, 2016). She is also actively engaged in artistic and educational practice with children and adolescents. Her works are part of the collections of the Ruarts Foundation, ZARIA Center, Iragui Gallery and private collections. The artist lives and works in Moscow.

Nikolay Alutin is an independent curator and guest researcher at the Centre for Contemporary Art de Appel (Amsterdam). His recent projects comprise Words Don’t Come Easy (Öktem Aykut, Istanbul, 2020), Shen Xin: Synthetic Types (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2019). Alutin lives and works in Amsterdam.


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