Victoria Reshetnikov is an undergraduate senior studying Art History and Visual Arts at Columbia University. She has focused her current research and practice on Queens, NY and the 1964 World's Fair that occurred in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. She's the current president of the art collective The Useless Art Society, and has curated a set of group shows both with and outside the collective. She has professional experience working at a private art gallery, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies, as she's situating her professional and artistic goals in New York.
Artist's Statement
In Queens there is a particular smell or feeling that I have not yet named, that has in it melancholic nostalgia, or jittery awkwardness, or a soothing embrace, or something in between. I grew up there, because my family fled the Soviet Union in 1991 and have lived the last 30 years in the borough. Most people know of Queens as “the world’s borough,” the immigrant-dominated county of New York that is suburban, urban, and sprawling. I was educated there, I grew there, I experienced there, I lived there. I’m asking myself now: what is that place, the ringing at the root of urban life? What is special about the borough’s neighborhoods, enclaves, and public spaces? Through my work, I am arguing for Queens’ infinity, for its future. I am yelling out, that here I am, together, with you.
At the root of my practice is memory, both personal and collective. I’ve been excavating relationships, people, and places to give shape to my feelings to build a personal archive. I have been picking things up off the ground and out of the dollar store, from the photo album and from the top of mall parking lots and playgrounds. I am sticking my head out of cars to snap a picture of a funny word, or peeling the foam encasements off of pears in grocery stores. I am peeking in windows and generally being very nosey. Sometimes this process has been forceful, other times quite natural, spurred on by objects or songs or hot oily smells.
Picturing my memory has necessitated the interweaving of an interdisciplinary set of mechanical and traditional making practices. I draw, 3D print, stencil, screenprint, trim, draft, woodwork, lasercut, file, sublimate, embroider, etch, and cut. I combine my working knowledge of making to create drawings, prints, and sculptures, iterating structures and images to create installations and interactive material. At this intersection of processes, I am delighted by making and doing.
My process of making often ends up miniaturizing. Miniatures are nostalgic, and have the capacity to materialize memories. My house, or your house, the things in it, the bookshelves and couches and things, are all steeped in memory. So, in adjusting their scale, what is kept or lost, and what new memories can be held? How can urban interiors indicate your memories, or mine, or both? And what problems arise there, in the act of simplifying?