The Russian tradition of socially engaged art that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century within a group of painters known as the ‘Peredvizhniki ‘ forms one of the inspirations for the works of Olga Jitlina. Despite the fact that Olga has always hated the dull gray and brown that prevailed in their work. Olga nonetheless fully shares Peredvizhniki ‘s responsible approach. Like her the group saw art as public ‘statements’ and they were genuinely interested in social issues. Olga’s work is not merely describing or critiquing the tragic situations in which history, government and our own passivity bring us. In her work she makes an effort to surpass this with the help of humour, paradoxical interpretations and imagination. Other subjects that come to the fore in her work are urban transformation, post-communist history and Gender issues in times of Ikea and Internet. Together with her many collaborators – human rights activists, urban planners, artists, filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers, writers, translators, musicians and her own family- she imagines alternative future scenarios.
In Amsterdam Southeast Olga searches for new forms of cooperation and being together that can replace the old forms and manners of the Fordist society.http://www.olgajitlina.net