artist spotlight
Alina Orlov

share your creative practice:
in conversation with Alina Orlov

What does it mean to you to join the North Lands Creative network and be part of building a community for glass?

 

In my experience of working with glass in installation, I’ve felt like I don’t fit into the traditional glass world. This network makes me feel like I also have a space in the glass world.

 

Tell us about your work. What influences translate into your art practice?

 

I was born in Soviet Russia, relocated to Israel at a young age. My work reflects on these migrations and investigates concepts pertaining to fragmented identities and estrangement. Through video installation, I inquire into questions on gender, performativity, sexuality, mutable identities and the quest for joy.

 

Has this changed the way you approach your work?

 

I think the word “this” right now is tough to decipher, and yes being part of a larger network of artists provides new questions of language and different perspectives.

 

What initially captured your imagination about glass?

 

The glass work provides for me a means to explore fragility and poetics. I strive to express the tension between their potential delicateness and their capacity to harm. The combination of the video and glass in space allows me to envision a place recalled from a past dream, simultaneously gone, and yet constructed around the viewer.

 

What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

 

I believe in the magic of craft, of the power of “hand made” as something that is slowly shifting in our world. The human touch that we are lacking today exists as a hug in every “craft” work, and that’s why it’s so important today.

 

What was your route to becoming an artist?

 

I feel like it was always a language I could speak. I’m not the greatest writer, or speaker, but I felt comfortable with the language of art. I think it’s something that I could communicate through, when I couldn’t find the words.

What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?

 

Main practice is video installation, and the videos are always performative – leaning on the traditions of performance art. My spaces are always full of objects that are often glass.

 

How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass?

 

I think it fits because it’s being interdisciplinary, and not about the craft but about the idea. Contemporary glass is closer to that, about the idea and the thought, the “non functionality” and experimenting with the material.

 

Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?

 

I like to work in new environments as much as I can. I’m best when I am uncomfortable in my environment, my senses are sharper. I don’t have a studio these days, I move around a lot. I am trying to be as mobile as I can.

 

Who do you look up to when it comes to aesthetics?

 

I appreciate filmmakers like Kenneth Anger, Roy Andersson and Maya Deren; photographers like Greg Crewdson and Claude Cahun; and choreographers like Sasha Waltz, Ivo Dimchev and Jean Fabre.

 

What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?

 

I currently live in a rural area in Vermont USA, and as a person who grew up in a city I find myself feeling the magic of nature; the constant changes everyday. That is what inspires me most right now.

 

How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic in your country? To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in lockdown?

 

I haven’t been in my own country. I’ve experienced a widening of the globe, how much further things have drifted during the pandemic. I graduated during the lockdown, and the biggest effect has been the unexpected flux of where my art practice would be.

Alina Orlov

I was born in Soviet Russia, relocated to Israel at a young age, and moved to the USA for my Graduate studies. My work reflects on migrations and investigates concepts pertaining to fragmented identities and estrangement.

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