Masha Shubina’s series “Lost and found” is presented in the exhibition “Aéroports – ville monde” at La Gaité Lyrique in Paris until May 21st, 2017.
The work of Masha Shubina, the icon of the young Ukrainian generation, is composed exclusively of self-portraits that she has declined in all her work for more than 10 years, announcing the era of selfie, before the existence of Facebook or Instagram.
Here the self portraits are funny and provocative but are raising complex and current topics. They are also perfectly executed: we can feel the long tradition of Ukrainian painting. Masha’s oil technique on different layers of tracing paper gives depth to the subject represented. The background is a real card from airplane with safety instructions.
What is to see in the “Lost and Found” series? A feminist woman assuming her freedom through her image? Would it be to question the self-identification of people, particularly in the former republics of the Soviet Union. Or a demonstration that identity symbols and national stereotypes remain deeply in the manipulation of our consciousness: we live the free movement of goods and people and borders are open but we still indicate our place of birth on the travel documents, although we do not have a link with that country; just like a traditional ukrainian scarf identifies the young woman who wears it, even if it is made in China.
For Masha Shubina, this is also a manifest to bring back the natural colors stolen by different ideologisms: “Give us back the red, the color of bood and sun, that you have stolen for flags or Coca-Cola advertisment. Give us back the blue, the color of the sea, the sky and the eyes of the earth, taht you have stolen for police uniforms. Give us back the green, the color of the grass, that you have stolen for the banknote or to sell the nature of the earth.”