The opposition of stability and change has extremely deep roots in the realm of art. In recent times, this controversy has tended to be resolved via frequent dramatic conflicts, [show more]rebellions by innovators, shocks and crises that have questioned time and again the very nature of art. But there is also a different, millennia-old, one could say, primeval, way of harmonizing contradictions. I mean variation.
It has been tested in all areas of human aesthetic activity: in folklore, where anything -- a song, a narrative, a dance, a fairy tale, a joke, a pattern or decorative motif -- exists only as the set of examples of its execution; in rituals and idols which represent the same god, but still differ from each other; in icons, which go back, without exception, to a single "true" template; in fact, in any theatrical production, any recital of the same piece of music. Maria Kazanskaya is guided by a sort of inversion of this principle in her series: each of them is, in effect, a sequence of variations of a single motif, so that repetition and change are combined.
The act of varying is a creative process, and the distribution of variations may be random; there are many factors at play. Our business as viewers is to detect logical lines in the mosaic of transformations by comparing works among themselves. [show less]
"The act of varying", by Boris Bernstein