"Layers of Reality" - Feb. 2020

Our imagination is a big part of what we consider reality, and it is fed by the images we are surrounded by. Daria Koreneva’s work evolves around the subconscious influences that come into play with these crucial matters between reality and its appearance. Through her artworks, Koreneva invites the spectator to engage with the questions inherent to her works and thus, to extend their concept in their own terms and reflect on the process of perception. As we tend to be alienated from realizing our subconscious patterns of perceiving images and generally try to rationalize what we see, Koreneva’s complex works challenge us. This results in an experience of the image that might leave the viewer with an awe or unsettled feeling. 


Koreneva’s artistic process starts by taking photographic images, which could be seen as a copy from the supposedly real, banned in a two-dimensional frame, showing a fragment of the ‘real’ world. Yet, the photograph has a physical connection to reality, a connection of light, divided into pixels and data. This is followed by a digital intervention in the image: Koreneva modifies it, veils or blurs the visible by layering several levels. This technique is used in order to create a rhythmic structure based on her sensitivity for balance. She manipulates the image to a point where it appears strange or unfamiliar, although certain elements remain recognisable. 

The initial image is dissolved into parts that have always been inherent to the picture and were yet not present in its appearance. 


The images become forms that are in no way limited to their material carrier, they have a dynamic of their own and can be extended infinitely in the viewer’s imagination, although never fully grasped, but rather experienced or felt. Imagination is nowadays often suppressed by the sheer mass of images and the dominance of rational facts in our culture. The interaction of the work and the spectator’s associations and arising feelings is a core element to Koreneva’s artworks. They can be seen as material manifestations of reality fragments, put together to create an artwork that reaches far beyond any frame, into the viewer’s mind and makes them question the origin of what the works are made of and taken from – reality. The visual traces of the familiar activate the spectator’s imagination without conveying just a single message.  


The rather dark and often blurred aesthetics are the formal equivalent to the inner processes that are being triggered by Koreneva’s works. They come from and mainly speak to the subconscious, which is the part of our consciousness that lies in the dark, is not easily accessible and lacks clearly defined outlines. Still, it functions as the root of our reactions and behaviour.  


Koreneva’s works motivate the spectator to accept the uncanny feelings that may arise when their subconscious is being involved and to accept the experience. Therefore, the emotional entanglement of the viewer plays an important role in approaching Koreneva’s complex and multi-layered practice. The conceptual basis of her art and the artistic process – especially regarding the reflection of the artistic medium – is truly deliberate and rational while her ambiguous images finally explore the limits of the rational mind. 

Victoria Schmoll, art historian