Victoria Suvorova

I am an artist and researcher born in Russia and living in the UK. My works are related to issues of gender, sexuality and ways of transgressing from them, as well as to various approaches to non-Western cultures within the Western cultural paradigm. In my works I use a mixed technique on paper with lithography methods, which allows me to incorporate historical representation of people whose appearance does not confirm to social ideas on femininity and masculinity. Written in the artistic language of painting, the Green Book is a kind of archive, the purpose of which is not only to resist the erasure of gender diversity from history, but also to take responsibility for our future.

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Victoria Suvorova, “Green Book”, mixed technique on paper, 2018

The “Green Book” is the result of the study of representations of female masculinity in Soviet history through artistic practice. The research, which is based on the practice of art, emerged as a result of the problematization of representations of female masculinity amid the law on “homosexual propaganda” in the Russian Federation. The exposition was designed as a way to normalize, or at least accept female masculinity. Modern Russia continues the Soviet tradition of isolating society from various forms of diversification, but if the practice of pathologization was used in the USSR, this practice is now replaced by a rejection of social diversification as alien, imported Western ideas. In this light, the visual stories depicting the historical representation of gender diversification have been conceptualized in this study not as a medical book, but as an artist’s book. The Green book includes the idea of a pseudo-archive, where the speculative nature of the practice of art, merged with the essentially factual nature of photography, provided the ideal combination to discuss what exists as visual evidence, but is not confirmed as a phenomenon.

The artist and researcher Victoria Suvorova is interested in the issues of gender, sexuality and types of their transgression, as well as the study of different approaches to non-Western cultures in the context of the Western cultural paradigm.

Special thanks to Academicians Dan Healy, Lori Essig and Olga Khoroshilova for permission to use the photo materials without which this work would not have been possible.