A sense of futility permeates the exacerbated physicality of the deeply allegorical work in Daria Makarova’s solo show “In Hopes but often in a Contradiction. Allegro Agitato.” More than anything, the exhibition is redolent of Andrei Tarkovsky’s vision of the future as a version of our own present but put through the wringer, with the materiality at its core stripped bare, confounding us with the same old questions.
Standing in the middle of the exhibition space is Tripod (all works 2021), a Frankensteinian construction assembled out of an old-fashioned disused radiator and myriad torsional tubes that spread like roots in all directions. Some break up, some tangle into a circular loop, and some lead straight into the sewer under the open floorboards. Flanking this central sculpture are Hanged 1 and 2, abstract drawings attached to silicone tablets and suspended from cheesecloth ropes, as well as the text piece Interview, a mysterious, barely legible dialogue printed on simple A4 paper and mounted in a dissonantly ornate frame. Like the surfaces of all the objects in the show, the radiator’s grates are clogged with a lumpy mass of coagulated silicone—it’s a heat source rendered impotent, similarly to how the images and words on view are left blurrily inarticulate under the dull goo.
Reverberating ambiently throughout the space is an altered version of the instrumental track “Molotov” by 1990’s horror-punk band Korol i Shut (King and Jester). Here, it’s made to sound like the muffled residue of a distant commotion. Rather than carry the incendiary charge of a revolutionary’s cocktail, “Molotov” now strikes the weary tone of the perpetually thwarted—of one who is powerlessly cocooned in a face-off with corporeality.
— Valerie Mindlin