Zhenya Machneva
St. Petersburg
Zhenya Machneva was born and works in Leningrad (St. Petersburg, Russia) in 1988. In 2011, she graduated from the department of textile of the Saint-Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design. In 2012–2013, she completed the School of Young Artists educational program provided by the PRO ARTE Foundation and the North-Western branch of NCCA.

She took part in the New Museum Triennial 2018 (New York) and international biennials: the Ural Industrial Biennial (Ekaterinburg, 2015, 2017), the International Biennial of Young Art (Moscow, 2012, 2018). She was nominated for the 2013 Sergey Kuryokhin Prize (St. Petersburg, 2013). Laureat of the Institut Francais programme for the Cite Internationale des arts residency in 2017 (Paris).

Her artistic work is closely linked with a rare technique of tapestry weaving. In her woven canvases Zhenya often depicts industrial landscapes and still lifes.
June 6. "Exercise in communication without communication"
Performance-test on the possibilities of "shop window communication" in the "Shishim Hill" residence. Viewers could watch the artist's work through the panoramic windows of the residence and ask questions.
June 13. "Elegant, but not practical"
Artist talk in the open air
June 20. "Translation game"
Zhenya Machneva created graphic images based on the photographs of our favorite houses sent by our friends and viewers, using the Procrеate program and a tablet.
June 27. "Chronicle of Incomplete"
Final event of the residence in the open studio format
The process of creating an image for the "Translation Game"
The process of creating an image for the "Translation Game"
About the research
How did the artist work in the art residence
During the residence, the subject of Zhenya Machneva's research were wooden houses located close to the Shishim Hill. They evoke nostalgia and turn into a sort of hybrid fabulous monsters, having lost the ability to be comfortable housing. Their texture attracts, but they can only live if someone vouches for them.

While building relationship with these houses, Zhenya tries on the most familiar role - the archivist of the passing. By means of graphics and weaving, she preserves faces made of logs, planks, carved platbands and scraps of paint. Thus, the "Translation game" held at the residence turned amateur photographs of neighboring houses into integral graphic images.

Functional irrelevance permeates all the founding structures of these buildings. Zhenya seems to be performing an act of liberating beauty, and the impossibility of action becomes just a subtle frame. What is important is the gesture of aesthetic appropriation, living the experience of a house. So, in the performance held at the residence, the artist uses an old loom as a frame and a house, placing herself and all the weaving accessories inside.

In the end of the residence, Zhenya creates a model of a future installation, in which the loom is transformed into an roomy perimeter for a future large-scale installation, in which the decay of wood that once used to be a house is captured through subtle color transitions in a woven fabric.
Documentation of Zhenya Machneva's performance "Exercise in communication without communication"