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Katya Kan_

Katya Kan | EUA based

My artistic aim is to overcome my marginality through creating a utopian vision, which reconnects me to my childhood. My art explores my status as a half-Asian artist, who doesn’t fit in any cultural hegemony and who has no sense of “home” in post-colonialist, feminist and psychoanalytical terms. A specimen of globalization, I was born in Kazakhstan, my father - North Korean and my mother - Russian. Having caught a glimpse of the USSR, I have a conflicting perception of cultural systems. Unable to assimilate into any culture, I am a banished outsider with no origins.

Stemming from this inability to integrate, I am drawn to creating a utopia through my performance art: a paradise, where I can reinvent myself to whom I truly want to be, and not what the mundane reality holds in store. This performativity enables me to come to terms with my depression, where the saddening sense of nostalgia used to permeate my existence and taint every experience of reality that I had. My performances take the shape of drag queen style, “mockumentary” music videos, where I reenact pop culture songs, which bring me closer to this infantile state of euphoria and inner freedom. I work in a range of media including performance, film and painting. Based in Berkeley, California, I am also a member of the Chelsea Arts Club in London, I have exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery and ICA London, Whitechapel Gallery as well as the LA Pacific Design Center and the NYC Untitled Space.


ISKRA digital avatar | APP | 2021

Throughout history, shamans attempted to resurrect people from their past and present. In Russian, “Iskra” means “spark”. It was also the name of a Soviet propaganda newspaper. The app is named like so to evoke the conceptual ethos of creating something new and reinventing the past. Once realized, this software will give the opportunity to live this dream. The program will allow users to recreate any given person from the past or present as animated avatars, with whom they are able to chat in the form of conversations, which they script themselves. In addition, here will be an added option of stating a self-help mantra by esoteric practitioner, Kenneth Soares, against the backdrop of utopian landscapes, such as the jungle, beach, safari and so on. In order to do this, the user will input an image and voice of the person in question. The software will be available for iPhones, Androids and laptops.

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