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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Veronika Rudyeva-Ryazantseva

Under the table

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Materials: Mixed media, wood, textiles, video, ticker

The installation Under the table looks like a decoration, a strange ziggurat consisting of textures from the Soviet era, it is red velvet, reminiscent of flags and curtains in theaters. If you look more closely, this “decoration” consists of a table that has “grown,” increased in size and instead of a tablecloth – excessive rococo – French curtains that can be seen in palaces or museums. Steps covered with red carpets lead to the table, on which there are chairs. The audience can sit “at the table,” they find themselves at different levels and everyone has their own point of view, as in life, the viewer can also enter “inside the table”, be inside the installation. Under the table is a reflection on the inner and outer, about man and power, about the fact that history is always happening, constantly and we are also participants and observers of what is happening. In this installation, I turn to my childhood, which passed in the era of the late Soviet Union and the transitional moment of “perestroika”, we are very connected with time, we are very connected with time, with the time when we appeared in this complex world and formed as individuals. Therefore, in the hall where the installation is located, a running line appears with Seneca’s dictum “we only have time.” The use of modern advertising (a running line) and the saying of an ancient Greek philosopher create an interesting combination, the feeling that even if we are temporary, but something remains, meaning remains. Time is changing, the technologies and “decorations” in which we live are changing, but there are things that always remain important to what a person has come to: this is freedom, this is life without violence, this is life itself, its value.

The artist is always looking for a new point of view, a new look, an angle. In this installation, you can feel it physically, climb the steps and take a seat at the table, depending on which chair you find yourself in – the point of view also depends on it. The predominance of red color resembles blood, unfortunately, history is blood and it repeats itself again…. We don’t want to learn the lessons of the past…. Inside the ziggurat there are video projections, a video carpet on the floor, a video patchwork carefully sewn from pieces of childhood memories and living anew childhood in connection with my parenthood. The inner colorful world of childhood.

The inner part of the installation is a multitude of eyes, each of us is an observer and a witness of our lifetime.

Artist Statement

I am an artist-observer, I consider myself a generation of “children of perestroika.”

Often the heroes of my works are people who become symbols of time, place, generation, event. I’m interested in “man”, questions of identification and everyday absurdity. Connection of past and present. I do not limit myself to one media, so I use and combine video, painting, installation, drawing and other techniques. Art, for me, is primarily a territory of experiment, transgression. I am for risk, trial and doubt, “untrodden territories” Since I received a classical education based on painting, therefore, painting is present in all media, be it video or lightbox.




500 Sampsonia, 4th Floor

About The Artist

Veronika Rudyeva-Ryazantseva was born in Krasnoyarsk in 1981. Graduated from art school. Surikov, Krasnoyarsk, after, the department of monumental painting of the St. Petersburg State Art Academy named after. Stieglitz 2001 – 2007. From 2005 – 2008 continued her studies at the Institute of Contemporary Art “Pro Arte”. The artist explores issues of identification, posthumanism, the connection between the past and the present. The heroes of the works become symbols: time, place, generation, event. In her exhibition activity she works with different media, combining video, painting, installation and drawing. Participant of numerous Russian and foreign exhibitions, at such venues, as “Winzavod” in Moscow, the Russian Museum, the art center “Korjaamo” in Helsinki, the Ethnographic Museum in Stuttgart, etc. Nominee for the shortlist of the Kuryokhin Prize for 2012. Picturesque and graphic works are in private Russian collections, such as the collection of the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg and abroad.Video-work “Cleansing with snow” purchased in the collection of the National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow. The artist lives and works in St. Petersburg.


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