Artist and curator Molly Surazhsky’s (Art BFA 19) CalArts thesis exhibition Mashacare: Home of the Freaks, Misfits & Weirdoes is on view from July 14 to Aug. 18 at Hunter Shaw Fine Art gallery in Los Angeles.
Surazhsky’s collection of garments hails from a dystopian future, in which the planet’s denizens wear fantastical prints cut into timeless, utilitarian silhouettes, as well as ensembles with flowing capes and glittering fringe. The 21 hand-tailored garments are an amalgam of “stock images of herbal remedies, appropriated Constructivist patterns, emojis, maps and family photos.” Many of the pieces sport transparent plastic pockets filled with various medicines.
Mashacare was divined from Surazhskys’ imagined alternate universe in which the wealthy abandoned earth for the cosmos, leaving the unprivileged to rot on a trash-littered, post-glacial melt Earth. Masha, a fictional Russian woman inspired by Surazhsky’s grandmother, begins offering free healthcare services to the community (read “Babushka’s Healthcare Revolution” manifesto here). Through the community’s efforts, Earth flourishes by the year 2100, thriving and unshackled from the bonds of capitalism and patriarchy. A text on the wall of the exhibition reads: “Mama, we eradicated: illness, violent men, trash, money, misogyny, heteronormativity, xenophobia, homelessness, weapons.”
The inclusion of mannequins in an art institution’s space challenges the cultural hierarchies that posit the fine arts as “hold[ing] a higher moral ground” than fashion and similar industries. In this vein, Surazhsky held a fashion show for the collection at CalArts in February of this year. Similarly, the Hunter Shaw opening reception will also feature a live runway for all Mashacare pieces. Participating current CalArtians include: Finn Hopper (Music BFA 21), Michelle Sauer (Art MFA 20), Tatiana McClung (Music BFA 21), Violet Sciole (Dance BFA 21), Soowan An (Theater BFA 22) as lighting designer and Charlie Scovill (Music BFA 22) as event DJ. Alums include Abigail Stanton (Theater BFA 19), Alicia Piller (Art MFA 19), Anais Franco (Art BFA 19), Isabel Ivey (Art BFA 19), Jordan Terrell (Music BFA 19), Kat Walker Shea (Film/Video MFA 18), Kristin Wetenkamp (Theater BFA 19), Melis Nur Yoruk (Theater BFA 18), Samara Bradley (Music BFA 19), Serena Himmelfarb (Art MFA 19) and Taehee Kim (Art-IM MFA 19) as exhibition audio coder.
The Los Angeles-based artist is a self-described “child and grandchild of Ukrainian émigrés, tinged with the cynicism of the Post-Soviet Union” who explores the corporatization of the working class in her practice. She previously served as a curator of I Come From Where the Palm Tree Grows//De Donde Crece La Palma, an exhibition of Latin American art at the Laboratory for Latin Art and Thinking (LATlab).
Surazhsky’s recent exhibitions include Death Show (The Great Filter Trilogy #2)(2018) and EX NIHLO (2018) at Elevator Mondays in Los Angeles, CO/LAB III (2018) at Torrance Art Museum in Torrance, Calif. and El Acercamiento at Fábrica de Arte Cubano (2017) in Havana, Cuba.
Mashacare: Home of the Freaks, Misfits & Weirdoes
July 14-Aug. 18, 2019
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
5513 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
Opening Reception and Fashion Show
July 14, 6-9 pm