Tania Nikulina: Luna´s Friends: Meeting
January 17 – February 11, 2018
opening: January 16, 2018 from 6pm

curated by: Tereza Rudolf

The space of a dream does not have clear boundaries, and our alertness consists only of constant restrictions, commands and designations. Tatiana Nikulina creates a world, which is often not quite specific. Similarly, the objects she creates, which originate by her combination of haptically seeming materials, are as if just emerging into the present world, while still trying to keep the option of staying on “the other side”. The world of these emerging and vanishing objects has something from the volatility of water in it. Its mood ripples between the anticipation of a fairytale and the insolubility of frustration. Fabric as a submissive material is rhythmically pierced with a sewing needle, which leaves a path behind that watches our eye together with a camera.

Similarly to a film, the fabric is a medium that intermediates touch. The veil – a translucent drapery for contemporary (retrospectively also modern) art as a topic and motif discovered by Didi-Huberman. A drapery simultaneously conceals and reveals a lot, rises together with an ideal of pure muse only to later drown in a sewer like a dirty rag. Film (and photography) in the early interpretation of modernism touch objects same as our eye does, touching the world with thousands of invisible hair.

In the background of the current exhibition and primarily in the depths of the video presented is the examination of the world through the optics of Sasha Sokolov’s book School for Fools. Sokolov’s reader is submerged into the complicated psyche of the main hero who primarily works with another topicality or intertwines his memories and those of others. Duality is typical also in Nikula’s works – her older videos often wander from one thought to another and time or, better yet, timelessness is layered in them. The participants are not exactly actors, it is not clear whether the figures are wearing costumes or the costumes are wearing the figures.   The fragmentary abstractedness is being held together by a feeling of inner emptiness and lacking in an excess of possibilities and visual inputs.

The current video is an attempt to try a different form of a story – more civil and at first sight also more legible narration. While her older videos often feature independent objects and the scenes are distinctly original and theatrically constructed, the video Luna’s Friend tries to be visually inconspicuous same as its main character/characters. The attempt to achieve ordinariness is underscored by the presence of the video’s actors appearing as performers throughout the duration of the exhibition. The performance has a dual effect, however, - it reassures the viewer that what he/she sees in the gallery is only fiction, and at the same time it is precisely that penetrable membrane between the real and unreal. The attempt to achieve true presence, eventually continues to malfunction and Luna’s friend frazzles, fades away and again reappears somewhere on the boundary together with the artist’s objects.

The exhibition Luna’s Friend is “to be continued” exhibition and its second part – The Feast will be presented in FAIT Gallery.


Tatiana Nikulina originally comes from Irkutsk. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in the Studio of Sculpture at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, where she is now continuing in her Master’s studies. She is currently an intern in Anna Daučíková’s Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.


Jelení Gallery exhibition program is possible through kind support of Ministry of Culture of the Czech RepublicPrague City CouncilState Fund of Culture of the Czech RepublicCity District Prague 7

Media support: Artycok.tvArtMapjlbjlt.net and UMA: You Make Art