Evy Jokhova is a multi disciplinary artist whose practice engages with dialogue and relationships between Social anthropology, Architecture, Philosophy and Art. Working with drawing, painting, installation, photography and film, participatory events and artist books, she aims to bridge gaps between these fields and the inherent hierarchical structures creating work in the expanded context of interdisciplinary research projects.
Born in Switzerland to Russian parents, Jokhova lived in Soviet and post-soviet Russia, Austria and Estonia before moving to London, UK. Jokhova's multi-cultural background and exposure to diverse social and political structures in altering states of flux and stability form the backbone of her practice. Often supported by anthropological fieldwork and interviews, her practice is research driven by investigations into relationships between things, the creation of social systems, and how social behaviour can be altered through architectural construction, with reference to the post-Cartesian ontological question of being in space(M Heidegger, J-L. Nancy, Ian James, M. Foucault) and the relationship between building, body and mind (Bertrand Russell, Bill Hillier, Vitruvius).
Engaging with the everyday as well as possible and impossible futures as imagined by architects, city planners, historians and politicians, Jokhova surveys the disparity between plan and reality using a paired down aesthetic of a muted palette, creating objects of an ambiguous materiality, drawing into landscape and architectural space. Exploring social narratives and remembered 'truths', Jokhova questions her own subjective role in and relationship to society, history, landscape and architecture.
|Sketch for a Failure of Budgets 2015|
Can you describe your practice in a few words?
interdisciplinary research projects
+ an obsession with:
the fabric of social systems; politics of architecture; object relationships; landscape; STONE FETISHISM; Ambiguous Materiality.
What is your earliest memory of art?
A painting of a blue fish - a gift from my father - when I was 3 - I still have this painting.
Have you shown your work in a non-white cube space before?
Yes. I often work site-specifically and site-referentially. I have just come back from Yorkshire, where I spent a week in a prison cell making a site responsive work for the Prison Drawing Project. I spent 2015 in dialogue with Amelia Critchlow. Our year long collaboration culminated in a site-specific installation that mimicked a lobby installed at the Westminster Art Reference Library (a public library just north of the National Art Gallery). In 2010 for the Market Estate Project (an arts project on an estate, which was being vacated in preparation for demolition) informed by conversations with the residents about their experience of the development, I made an installation across a 3-bedroom flat on the estate. I also often work in book form.
What does this sort of space bring to your work?
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the
usefulness of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the
usefulness of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house;
And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that
the usefulness of the house depends.
Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we
should recognise the usefulness of what is not.
_Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching
Does the environment in which you exhibit your work change how your work is percieved?
Very much so. It also influences how I present the work, as I often alter it tosuit/clash with environments it is shown in. Most importantly it changes how and who the work is approached by/accessible to.
What is the future for art outside the gallery context?
It is the future for the engagement of wider public.
What was your first experience of King's Cross?
Fantastic! A close friend lived on Caledonian Road for a year - those were our party days :)
What is the future for art?
Artists eternally struggling to survive but despite all odds continuing to succeed in making incredible work.
If you could meet one artist living or dead, who would that be and why?
What is your greatest weakness?
Food! The internet abyss (especially sourcing pictures of
monkeys...) and saying YES(to everything....)
What was the last exhibition you visited that unnerved you?
I often wonder ''why''? ''what for''? and ''is this really happening''? just the idea of Art Fairs often has that effect...but I guess I do know why....besides, these sentiments are quickly washed away by the great and fantastic things that are equally as present.
What place do aspects of traditional craft play in your work?
At the moment there is little involvement with traditional craft in my practice as I am in an experimental phase! That being said, skill is imperative to the making of my work; the process is often long, full of trial and error.
Who have been your main influences over the years, both in historical and recent terms?
Otherwise, who and what - I find that social movements, experiences such as travel, building relationships, trying to understand different cultures, and getting myself out of tricky situations are strong formative influences on me. To list some: Rebecca Horn, Joseph Boyce, Olafur Eliasson, Tacita Dean, Greek ruins!, Baroque, Totalitarian architecture, Peter Eisenman's memorial, ballet, Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, Perestroika, my childhood memories of Soviet and early post-Soviet Russia, Vienna, Scandinavian landscape, the attitude to life in Istanbul, going on road trips in countries I know little about and do not speak the local language....list goes on.
What projects do you have coming up in the future?
I have a solo show at the end of this year with Marcelle Joseph Projects. We are working on a site-specific installation for the chapel at the House of St Barnabas. It will involve large mobile sculptures, sound insulation foam and an original music score....
Evy Jokhova is a multi disciplinary artist, working with drawing, painting , installation, photography, film, participatory events and artist books. Jokhova holds an MA in Political Communications, Goldsmiths College (2013) and an MA in Fine Art, Royal College of Art (2011).
Jokhova has been the recipient of the Arts Council Individual Arts Grant (2012), the COS Commission for Frieze Art Fair, London (2011) and nominated for the Griffin Art Prize (2014), John Ruskin Prize (2014), WW Solo Award (2014), Red Mansion Awards (2011) and Conrad Foundation Awards (2011). She has been resident artist at WW Contemporary Art, London (2012), Florence Trust, London (2008-9) and Schauraum, Vienna (2008)
In 2014 Jokhova initiated - The Allotment Project - a social experiment, a participatory research programme of events and online research blog exploring the relationship between food, politics, culture and society. Allotment has been hosted at SALT Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2014), Florence Trust, London (2014), Griffin Gallery, London (2015).
Recent exhibitions include 'Mimesis', Westminster Reference Library, London (2015), 'No One Lives in the Real World', Standpoint Gallery, London, (2015), 'Activating the Archive', Banner/Repeater, London (2015), 'Evy Jokhova: Sketch for a British Business', Lubomirov/Angus Hughes, London (2015), 'POPIERUKAS',Kaunas Photography Gallery, Lithuania (2013), PLAY/GAME/PLACE/STATE', Day +Gluckman, London (2012), 'A Future Pump House', Pump House Gallery, London (2011) and 'Custom Made', Barbican Art Gallery, London (2010)