2017-2018. Site Specific Durational Performance with mother’s pillow. In Collaboration with partner Jack O’Farrell.
A series of performance somewhere between Estonia & the United States in the search for comfort and home with one another and with oneself.
Full publication of available, please contact artist directly
“Intimacy is a concept that is tied to the timidness to voyeurism; becoming intimate with someone or with oneself, physically or even emotionally, tends to be a situation that is vulnerable. When one is vulnerable, there is a sense of urgency if things go awry to cover up those emotions; and with that, a shame complex can develop. Within Dearly Intimate, Polina (and other performers; Christopher Huizar, Sungjae Lee, Kyra Lehman, Celia Wickham) lie on the ground holding pillows. One of the main rules of the piece is to become intimate with the pillow. The association with the pillow being a space where ‘pillow talk’ occurs, a place for dreaming, place for soothing comfort through squeezing, malleable motion of inner pleasure, and its overall softness become integral to the piece as the performances begin to roll around with it, close with it - and an extension of that relational desire to someone’s touch. The caressing, the whispering, and the tenderness of the piece come together to speak about the barriers we place on intimacy, but how easy those come crashing down when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable by giving ourselves the time to do so.” - Words by curator Graham Feyl
20 Minutes of Separation (Pаздельный)
2019. Performance, beeswax candle.
One Year Anniversary Show: Infernal Court at Extase Gallery June 22-July 22 with artists Aram Atamian, Danny Bredar, Yoo Hee Chang, Maryam Faridani, Garrett Fees, Alex Keller, Alberto Ortega.
The artists in “Infernal Court” hail from Korea, Armenia, Tehran, Estonia, Mexico, and the U.S. In addition to the exhibition being about nationalism, these eight artists are also invested in making work about their cultural identities. Polina Protsenko’s basement performance – 20 Minutes of Separation (Pаздельный) – serves as an homage to a 1975 performance by Czech artist Jan Mlcoch, which also occurred in a basement with a duration of 20 minutes. In Lara Weibgen’s text Performance as Ethical Memento: Art and Self-Sacrifice in Communist Czechoslovakia, Mlcoch is discussed as equating the body with the ground. The ground then represents symbolically and literally the battle for autonomy that was fought in postcommunist and postsocialist countries. For Mlcoch, it was critical to create private spaces for art that could exist during a time of constant surveillance and limitations on privacy. Protsenko’s site specific performance is about dualisms and disparate concepts coexisting in tandem with one another: violence and lyricism, separation and closure, the self and the other. Traditional orthodox candles will be used in the performance so that she may relocate herself within the duality of her Russian American identity. “ Words by Julia Budgie Birka-White, curator.
Jac for REDA Milano
“Even today ‘strong women’ in the workplace or society at large, are judged harshly and infairly, described as being too bossy or too dominant as if strength is an attribute that can only be exhibited by a man. This collection looks to re-shift this outmoded perspective, giving power and autonomy to women, and encouraging acts of exuberant self expression. Crossing boundaries between masculine and feminine, the collection asks, “who wears the pants?”
In devising the Jac REDA Milano campaign, Jagaciak reached out to six performance artists who created individual artworks that responded to each shoe, as well as the prompt of “who wears the pants?”. With boldness and creativity, each artist exhibited new performance works that engaged ideas of female empowerment, showcasing the strengths of stylistic self-expression. The artists included in the campaign are Sophie Leddick, Jinlu Luo, Polina Protsenko, Nanna Rosenfeldt-Olsen and Celia Wickham.” - Words by Celia Wickham
“Coming Asunder” is an exhibition of site-specific performance, installation, video, and works on paper by Chicago-based artists Polina Protesenko and Marie Ségolène, shown at the apartment gallery Extase. Protsenko and Ségolène’s multidisciplinary practices are invested in the exploration of the corporeal, lust, femininity and domesticity, affection, power dynamics, and release.
Protsenko’s work can be understood as a probing of personal identity through cultural memory in conjunction with an investigation of site and historical territories. Protsenko uses her body to examine boundaries, particularly in relation to universal restrictions impressed upon women. In her Extase, as in much of her work, Protsenko pulls from her heritage as a Russian-American to meld vulnerabilities through the mark making of relational elements.
Artifact and remnants play a critical role in both artists’ practices; after their performances the stains from fruit, wine, dirt, and other materials remain on the fabric and garments that they include in their work, subsequently morphing into their own autonomous installations, but also serving as a preserved memory in the form of a relic. Protsenko gathers the cherries that she is allergic to from participants in the audience and then crushes them with various body parts as she crawls across a white strip of fabric, but it is unclear until the performance is complete what gestures of collective residue the object will possess. In both Ségolène and Protsenko’s measured performances, there is room for chance, surprise, mutability, and the relinquishment of authorship. - Words by Julia Budgie Birka-White.
2018-2019. Screen Printed Coasters, Collected Public Stories, Public Intervention.
"Pick Up" is a collaborative project with Victoria Marie Barquin which examines the interactions that take place at clubs, bars, parties, on dates, and at other nightlife locations. By collecting stories from willing participants, and printing adaptations of them on coasters to be distributed back into these settings, we hope the project brings attention to the absurd physical and verbal interactions that commonly take place and often cross the line.
7. Every Single One With Liberty and Justice for All.
Series of intervention by photographing bodies, transferring their nipples onto flags which are later distributed to be set into action.
To dismantle the sexist body-shaming stigma attached to the presentation of the female nipple, we present a campaign of topless interviews including the giveaway of nipple stickers to oversaturate the public with images of anonymous nipples in an effort to normalize its appearance - and to disconnect it from gendered sexuality.
We are representing the female body in its form as it is percieved in social settings. To encourage gender equity, photographed nipples of partipants were produced into stickers which were given out to the public. These stickers are the first step for exposure and will be released onto the community in an effort to normalize the image of the body part.
2017. Video Performance, Milk.
A series of performance experimenting with accumulation, internal muscles, and embodiment.
Salem Witch Trial Memorial - Salem, Massachusetts.
"The uterus wanders around the body, causing problems as it went, particularly strangulation as it allegedly crawled up into the chest and windpipe. The panting and shortness of breath associated with the hysterical paroxysm, and eventually the disease itself, came to be called the “suffocation of the uterus” or the “suffocation of the mother.””- Plato
2016. Participatory Performance, and Flower Petals.
In front of witnesses, I vow to a devoted commitment towards the integration of artistic practices. Participants attended a guided tour through the daily path between both both dual degree departments. The silent walking ritual was marked with flower petals to solidify the union.
2015/2016. Video, Installation, Printed Emails. Collaboration with Alex Nally.
Over a hundred printed emails, hung to fit a site-specific 1920x1080p projection and then covered the floor in the remaining emails related to organization and production work during 2015. The result was a looped video of black and white time lapse photos of us installing the emails to the back wall projected on top of the installed emails, on loop with no sound.
We reinstalled the piece in the New Design and Media Center studio for the SIM Annual All School Show and were awarded First Place. The new edition expanded the repetition of hung printed emails covering all walls with the projection. It included a table with the emails we could not fit and coffee for the smell. The sound to typing keyboards and blue LED lights added the setting of our usual "artistic" habitat. The immersive environment invited participants into a glimpse of our organizational methods.
De [LINT] ifikayshun
2016. Ensemble Performance, Installation, Sound, Lint Rollers. Collaboration with Genna Gmeiner and Dylan Soulard.
To remark the restrictions of the student bodies' capability to use public spaces with restrictions, we decided to provide a group cleanse. The performance took place as the audience entered the Pozen Center before the start of the SIM annual All School Show. The installation involved a built plastic tunnel, LED lights, projected surveillance footage on the outside of the tunnel, and ambient sound. The 24 "cleaners" were in sterile costume and ready to de-lint anyone walking through with lint rollers. Once de-linted, participants were stamped with approval.
I Wish for Stillness
2016. Performance and Video Installation.
A self-reflective experience directed on the desire to pause time through the stillness of water, reaching a trance of tranquility from surrounding constraints.