Ustina Yakovleva

Ustina Yakovleva / b. 1987, Russia / lives and works in Moscow


The 5th Ural Biennial Main Project features the work:
«Untitled» (Installation, 2016–2019)
Courtesy of the artist

Ustina Yakovleva’s artistic practice is largely based on tactile experience: working with memory through remembering and forgetting. She creates new images and forms that grow out of primal structures and gradually multiply. These jellyfish-like forms merge otherwise incompatible features from nature and beg for new interpretations. Her work presents a perpetual process of reproduction and decay of living organisms that are paradoxically interwoven with dead matter.

Preserving the memory of handcrafts, these subtle objects remind us of the value of time and of labors of love. Yakovleva’s creative practice spans into two temporal dimensions—a long laborious meditative process of embroidery and a revisiting of the ancient practice of creating ritual objects—that overlap with each other to generate new senses of perception. According to Ancient Greek mythology, Ariadna’s thread is a way out of Minotaur’s labyrinth, escaping death. Yakovleva’s art creates another labyrinth in order to escape a new threat—the rigidity of comfortable eternal life. The immortal jellyfish is a source of inspiration for Yakovleva: this creature can reverse its biological cycle and, by constantly changing its forms, is able to bypass death.