"Assimilation Paradox: The IroNY Curtain"
The Harriman Institute
On view from: October 1 – October 30, 2007
This exhibition is comprised of two series of narrative digital collages, “IroNY Curtain” and “Fitting Ukraine.” Both refer to Soviet propaganda posters and explore the concept of fitting together two cultures, including issues of language barriers, generation gaps, nostalgia, and the constant search for a new Russo/Ukrainian/Jewish-American identity. By using a new digital medium that integrates photography, illustration, and stage painting like scenes, these issues are carried into a 21st century context. Going through the heart-breaking process of resolving the conflict between a Ukrainian childhood and an American present, during which some traditions are left to be replaced by new ones, the artist uses a lighthearted and sometimes humorous expression of her sense of being as an immigrant.
Julia Bedriy was born in Vinnitsa, Ukraine and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1997 at the age of 15. She graduated from the School of Art at the University of Arizona, Tucson in 2002 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Combined Media, photography and illustration. She has recently earned a Master’s degree in photography from the School of Visual Arts.
A quote from the artist: "As an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, I am keenly aware of the culture shock and challenges that recent immigrants face in their new country. This series of 15 posters explores issues of the immigrant life such as the language barrier, generation gap, nostalgia and constant search for and redefinition of a Russo-American identity. I construct my narrative digital collages based on the aesthetic of the Soviet propaganda posters, using mostly images and very little text to make a stronger visual statement that can transcend the language barrier. I integrate both photography and illustration into my work, using the new digital medium to bring these issues into the 21st century. My goal is not photorealism, but a clear message. I explore these serious issues with a sense of humor, inviting the viewer to do the same."
October 28, 2007 - Novoye Russkoye Slovo
Ukrainians Beyond Hudson, or the Main Theme
by Maya Pritsker
November 15, 2007 - Russkaya Reklama
The Paradox of Assimilation
by Vitaliy Orlov