Exhibition “anatomy of river smuggling” revolves around the durational project based on bodies, experiences, and imagery of two European rivers – Tysa and Danube. The project consolidates the long-lasting entirety of a river with random processes taking place in its presence and examines the reciprocity of this relationship.
Arising from forgotten, yet valid, profession of “river smugglers” Alina Sokolova combines found archival transaction records with images of re-enactments and poems. This results in a series of unique collages, which reconstruct the specificities of this particular profession dependent on the river’s presence. She engages with questioning and deconstructing the mystified, romanticized, and (il)legally prescribed identity of particular rivers in her proximity as well as the theory of random waters flow.
“Consider smugglers’ movements inside the water as polished as dancers’ acts and their roles as those of water performers. Smugglers, as performers, who exquisitely move on puzzled out trails inside her, who perform their dances, their business aims, knowing how to withstand the flow.” In the series “smugglers’ movement studies” drawings and photos are used as methods to abstract the most common position when being inside the river and “performing”.
The exhibited sculpture contains water entities placed in an arbitrary way. Water/s that once belonged to the same Danube river, but were collected at three different cities, are randomly arranged to change the natural chronological flow of the river’s waters. The thread of the flowing river is disrupted as the river itself was taken out of its context and away from its linear, logical structure.