Anna Jermolaewa

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In her video- and photo-works Anna Jermolaewa often uses staged performances involving animals, dolls or toys in order to thematize social relationships, socially ascribed gender roles, and structures which are part of everyday life. The toys she deploys are not necessarily mere stand-ins for human beings – they occasionally take us unawares by mutating from cuteness to uncanniness.

In the video work "Solo" a battery-operated pink rabbit marches with staccato movements straight towards the camera, accompanied by the tinny sound of its mechanism and a bell. On reaching its destination, the rabbit rubs its fur indefatigably up against the camera lens – or, from the viewer’s perspective, against an impenetrable yet invisible partition – an act apparently as desperate as it is auto-erotic. The plush fabric (a synthetic, remote and pitiful variant upon fur with its fetish connotations) is pressed flat against the "cold" surface of the screen. The rabbit, that symbol of unfettered breeding, runs up against a brick wall. The childlike scheme previously effective is now swallowed up by the drama of postponed and useless desire which is glued to the spot. A few minutes later the sorry game is brought to a purported end: The looped scene starts up from the beginning, the bunny rabbit staunchly keeps rushing into the same trap.

Iris Dressler