‘Now no longer – now not yet’ | Evgletta Shtohryn

Over the next few weeks, we will be speaking to participants of the MFA in Digital Arts, as they launch their annual exhibition, this time entitled SixFiveSix and taking place at Spazju Kreattiv (St James Cavalier) in Valletta until June 6. This week, we spoke to Evgletta Shtohryn about her philosophical contribution to the collective showcase

Evgletta Shtohryn
Evgletta Shtohryn

What has the Masters’ in Fine Arts taught you, and how has it shifted your perspective?

Shift towards digital media – video art and performance art. Concept-wise my way of art making became more structured, I definitely learned a lot about conducting art research. Thus my process became more organised, research based and explorative. In a way art making has integrated itself more into my life, and simultaneously it gets the inspiration from the events and encounters that I experienced. At the moment I am exploring concepts which appear out of long term, previously unacknowledged interests and obsessions. It’s also linked with the process of self discovery.

Are there particular aspects of the contemporary art field that inspire you to create, or that you would like to react to in any way?

Installation, Interactive art, Video art, Performance art. Since I started the MFA I became more interested in interdisciplinary art making. I’ve been doing it unintentionally in the past – linking art with philosophy. Now my research is going into the direction of combining contemporary art with aspects of geology, archaeology, anthropology and other disciplines.

How are you tackling the concept of time in this particular exhibition, and what led you to choose this path in particular?

Exploring the limits of now, hence the name of my project – ‘Now no longer – Now not yet’, it comes from Heidegger’s ‘Being in Time’, but what I am mostly interested in is the hyphen in the middle. The limits of now, the fluidity of it, the duration of the Now, when does it become the past?
Having background in philosophy, I’ve always been drawn to metaphysics and logical paradoxes.

Until now a few of my works covered the topic of time –exploring the causal relations in past timelines, mainly what happens in the future if we could change one single variable in the past. For this project, I wanted to shift towards the moment of ‘Now’ and how can we extend our presence in it, in order for it not to slip into the past and not to raise the anticipation for the future time.

Also I explored the human time compared to deep time – or geological time of the planet events, as the objective time of the planet and our subjective time run simultaneously but with their own velocity. I was also interested in the practical part of the experience of time: how can we experience the present moment to the fullest? Which led me to the idea of conducting several experiments which involved potential danger, physical endurance and extreme discomfort.

What do you make of the local arts scene? What would you change about it?

To me local art scene definitely needs to bridge the gap between the general public and the artists. I think art making shouldn’t be something elitist, but speak to everyone regardless of education or background.

Nonetheless one needs to expose the general public to the new exciting contemporary ways of art making, which often use contemporary tools and technology already present in our everyday lives and is not limited to representational art on canvas centered around the religious themes. Also, I believe that there is no need to wait until the public is ready: maximum exposure to contemporary art will lead to the art scene less distant from the viewer, more accepting and more vibrant.

What’s next for you?

Next is definitely keep exploring performance art and video art, conducting multidisciplinary research and also expanding my art practice by going to several art residency programs.