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Asya Marakulina / INSIGHT / 1

I often play such a game - at some point in my life I jump in my mind into a year ago, and recall where I was, what I thought and did.
As if each day was simultaneously the last and the first day of the past year - opening a new time bubble.


Exactly a year ago, I went into psychotherapy. Many people ask why, but there is nothing special. In short, in all the areas everything completely collapsed, and I did not feel any strive for life and energy to continue it. If in 20+ there were excuses for that, then closer to 30 I exhausted them and had to save myself. It seemed to me then that this step was indeed the most difficult and from now on I just have to go, pay money and watch how my life becomes better and more fun with each session. Although, there is much truth in it, but now these naive hopes make me smile. It took the first three months just to stop crying all the time and I kept waiting for me to realize something and get out of this ass.

I have no urge to tell everyone about my experiences, this is precisely what therapy is for.
But in this case it is important, otherwise these paintings and their meaning will remain incomprehensible.

And then, three months after the therapy started, I had the first insight, which I share here.
I walked to the studio from the metro on the left side of Kirochnaya Street and wondered why am I so envious of everyone who is well versed in something - be it the Chinese tea, gardening or car brands.
And then something happened that is really difficult for me to talk about. I realized that I was not interested in art at all. That all my life I deceived everyone, and first of all myself.
We often joked about it with friends - they say, let's talk about anything, just not about art. But this was very different.

This insight crushed me completely. When I reached the studio, I did not understand how I had got here. Everything around was alien and meaningless. It’s like I’d got into someone else’s space by mistake with other person’s stuff and couldn’t remember what I was doing here.
I grabbed the diary and immediately ran out into the street, because I could not stay there.
I always write, so I have this moment in my diary, you can listen to it right now.


Asya Marakulina / INSIGHT / 2

I came back and sat on the floor against the wall for a long time, thinking what to do now.
There was no question of continuing current affairs - it seemed as pointless as watering an herbarium, hoping that it would bloom once.
Something else was necessary, but what?

I don't know how long it lasted. I just sat and looked at the things around.
I had neither options, nor powers to act. I did not understand what to do, how to start all over again, when all my life I was doing only this. Then a thought emerged that art might well suit me if I treated it differently. Moreover, I already have a studio, like many artists, and I am sitting in it. Then I thought, where do those who take the very first steps, who learn from scratch usually start? Usually with objects, like it was in the art school.
I thought that maybe if I focus my attention on the things around, consider them and draw, they will relate to me again and this will bring me back into my life, but in a different quality. I needed to catch hold of something. This was the available minimum.
I had only one canvas at that time, because I almost never did painting.
I took it and started drawing toys. The first works in this series - Ziziphius and the stone clock, then a Squirrel on the window, then an iPhone, potatoes and so on. I did each piece for a very long time, trying to concentrate as much as possible and understand what it means to me.
I don't know how, but it worked. I got interested. For real.

After some time, after reading about the experiments of Wolfgang Köhler *,
I happily realized that behaved almost like a monkey.

The most amazing is that nothing happened. I continue doing what I did before, and this painting is nothing more than painting. It turns out that art here lies in the transformation of attitude towards it, in an invisible inner change. Now I can say that I do exactly what takes in my attention, I follow it, until it shifts to something else. I don't use art as a means of proof or justification, and I don't expect anything from it. It has become a natural part of my personality.

PS: While I was painting still lifes with potatoes, I made friends with them so much that I could not deprive them of their normal potato life in the ground. This is how the «Insight» series got both graphical and botanical embodiment.

The term "insight" was first used in 1925 by Wolfgang Köhler.
In Köhler’s experiments with anthropoid apes, when they were offered problems that could only be solved indirectly, it was shown that after several unsuccessful trials the monkeys stopped taking actions and started looking at objects around them, after that they could quickly come to the correct solution.

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