Anastasia Mityukova

Disappearing Act, 2022

“Before she went to Greenland, this place was a fiction for her, built in her imagination, fed by novels, exploration stories, films and documentaries. When she arrived in Qaanaaq, she was struck by the austerity that prevailed, an emptiness, a brutality of life that she describes as «almost unphotographable». On her return, she researched the origins of her personal imagination of this region, and conducted what she calls a form of archaeology of her own knowledge. She reread her childhood books, leafed through exploration books, etc. What she found there made her feel more at home. What she found there filled her with disappointment: so many clichés and stereotypes, visual constructions of Westerners. Disappearing Act are images from one of her childhood books, that she meticulously erased. A long process that allowed her to start a new stage in her artistic research. This search for new fundamentals for herself and her research involves a painstaking and systematic erasure of previous references, as she asks herself how to bring nuance to the collective imagination of the North. The act of erasing these images is also materialised on a canvas stretched on a frame, whose grey and bluish stains resemble a painting, the result of the process of dissolving these photographs found in books.”