In her Unlocked series Katya Emelyanova explores the humans’ interactions with their surroundings, with the world we live in. The screens of the lightboxes are made of seives, with this unconventional material enhancing the visual sensation of the internal and the external, the image and the environment being intermingled. What are the driving forces behind a person’s thinking and creativity? How much are our desires affected by outside factors and influences? How often do external obstacles get in the way of our talents and ambitions? These are the questions that the artist is trying to find solutions to in her work. The compositions are centered around spherical shapes, which represent the core, a cluster of creative energy that is being impacted by external forces. Providing the backdrop are all sorts of patterns, splothces, mechanical structures, measuring devices and graduated scales.
Katya Emelyanova says the pioneering video artist Nam June Paik was a major inspiration for her while she was working on this series. Among other things, the Korean American artist was known for his experiments with television broadcasts and the use of magnets that transformed TV images into abstraction.
The works in the Unlocked series are arrenged in a logical sequence, which is an allegory symbolizing the process of unlocking a person’s creative potential. The final lightbox features a hand-drawn broken circle that stands for the act of setting oneself free from influences and external circumstances.