Lidia Blinova
Antrepo No.3

1948, Almatı | Almaty - 1996, Almatı | Almaty

Lidia Blinova's series of photographs Hand Ornament (1995), shows the artist's own hands forming ornaments in ten positions against a black background. Trained as an architect and sculptor, researching the theory of games and of skills, linguistics and poetry, Blinova worked with the body as a tool for artistic research and creativity, and used her hands to create new possibilities for plastic representation. In the work, the artist's hands seem to be communicating a sign language that needs to be deciphered, but Hand Ornament is not an alphabet. It is an ironic alternative to the decorative and flattened perception of life, an answer to mainstream decorative painting in Kazakhstan. It is also a counterpart to 'pulota', the life-long project of her husband, artist Rustam Khalfin. Blinova and Khalfin often worked together, creating pioneering performance projects in Kazakhstan, and Hand Ornament was exhibited with different versions of Khalfin's 'pulota'. But whilst 'pulota' is a basic plastic object exploring the space that remains when the fingers are tightly closed, Blinova's fingers are strangely alive, and create a repertoire of elusive patterns and spaces.