Anais-karenin's art challenges the ideology of the so-called 'developed' societies, the dichotomic thinking of the West, and the rationalist chase for progress, industrialisation and relentless capitalistic impetus that characterises the 'Era of the Anthropocene'; that is: the era of the significant human impact on Earth's geology, ecosystems and other non-human forms of life - largely driven by financial interest and greed for profit.
Nowadays, artists around the globe are negotiating their practices with Cosmovisions coming from non-Western epistemologies, and Anais-karenin is one of them. She defines herself as (un)visual artist and researcher. She works from speculations around non-existence of the duality of nature by proposing a symbiotic vision between organic and artificial actions and materials. Working at the boundaries between beings scientifically classified as animate and inanimate, she points to a discussion of what is or is not life, what has or does not have spirit.
She juxtaposes cross-cultural studies, animism, mythologies, narratives and science, critically and holistically expressing the symbolic and colonial layers around the relationship with nature. Through installations, sculptures, objects, sounds, videos and performances, the artist works with equilibrium, relationality, uncontrolledness and ephemerality in her works as a way to invoke the invisible (non-visual) layers of existence.
She researched traditional methodologies with medicinal herbs for 9 years, inspired by the cosmovisions of her ancestors from the Sertão" (a dry, rural area in north-eastern Brazil), and by Karenin, the cat with which Anais affiliated in her quest to partially give up her human form. From these interspecies relationships arise the main questions that guides Anais-karenin's work.
Anais-karenin is concluding her PhD in Visual Poetics at the USP in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Waseda University in Japan. She had three solo exhibitions at the Urandana Gallery (2021), the High Pop Gallery (2021), and the OMISE Space (2017) in Tokyo. In 2021 she also premiered work at the Berlin Art Week, and she is due to show work at Improper Walls Gallery in Vienna. She is an active lecturer, who has imparted workshops and artist talks at prestigious Brazilian institutions such as the MAC Niteroi and the State University of Rio de Janeiro, as well as internationally. Her CV boasts an impressive track record of research, residencies, publications, grants and fellowships. Further, she is the Director of BIOLILOLAB - Bioart in the Tropics.
By Kalinca Costa Söderlund & Anais-karenin