In her solo exhibition at Kalfayan Galleries, Sasha Streshna presents a new series of oil paintings which continues her research on western history painting tradition, focusing primarily on depictions of violence, repression and authority.
In her new series, Streshna references found images from soviet textbooks. While obscuring the evidence that would allow the viewer to recognise an event, Streshna converts the illustrations through a painting language that entails suggestive contours and a colour pallet with no apparent contrasts. Hence, the stories of rebellions are explored as incoherent and emotionally charged memories, rather than particular events.
The title of the exhibition “Devon Loch” refers to the name of a famous royal racehorse, which fell – for no apparent reason – on the final straight just as it was about to finish first in the 1956 UK Grand National. The phrase to do a Devon Loch is still used to explain a sudden, last-minute failure of someone who was expected to win. Although, at first glance, the title suggests failure to comprehend and reshape the world of both painting and the political act, at the same time it also implies that insubordination is one of the most remarkable expressions of self-determination and free will. An incoherent memory, therefore, holds the potential to become a future possibility.