The most important things. In my broken life, this is the title of the exhibition, presents fifteen works by this young artist who trained and worked in Russia until the beginning of the war in Ukraine, when she moved to Tiblisi, Georgia because she was an active contributor to the art scene in opposition to the Russian government. Yoffe is a performance artist who draws inspiration from events and personal impressions that she immediately processes and transforms into artwork using the language of social media and mass culture. She is then inspired by cave paintings and calligraphic art. The exhibition includes a series of digital drawings made for this exhibition but which refer back to the themes and subjects that the artist has been proposing since 2019. Two works, Protest and Detention, recall political demonstrations in Russia and Georgia in 2021 and 2022, including protests held on the first day after the start of the war in Ukraine. Airplane, a work dedicated to airstrikes in Ukraine and the Boeing shot down in 2014 in the Donbass. Tuffolino 's series of four paintings deserves special attention. This comic book character conceived by the Italian fascist regime, took the place of Mickey Mouse, but for the artist it becomes a way to remember how dictators are changing our lives, mass culture, consciousness, and history. The canvas titled The Eye is also meant to be a symbol of despotic control, a reference to Big Brother in Orwell's novel 1984, but it also recalls the surveillance systems installed in Moscow against dissent. The exhibition project also includes a number of works, Crucifix, Deposition from the Cross, and Battle of San Romano, inspired by masterpieces housed in Italian museums that Yoffe got to know during one of his trips to Italy in 2019. The theme of sexuality is also represented by works such as Tree, Venus and Heart, works that reference ideas of power and personal energy that no war can ever destroy.
Alisa Yoffe is a political artist, but it is futile to look for precise references to reality in her work: language acts on a metaphorical level, both when she uses words and images. Censorship, the obsession with control, the restriction of freedoms can be circumvented by the recent turn to abstraction, undoubtedly more difficult to decipher.
She is not the first nor the only one to draw on the iPhone, however, the way Yoffe has begun to use this tool, which since 2007 has revolutionized our lives and reinvented creativity, is peculiar. Yoffe handles it like a "live" notebook, thus being able to work wherever she is, even in quite uncomfortable situations where she happened to be several times, including political demonstrations before the outbreak of war. After recording the moments, the glimpses, the impressions she takes from her archive an image chosen never by chance and brings it back on huge rolls of paper, textiles, canvases or directly on the walls, thus opening up an interesting dialogue between analog and digital, which then is one of the most discussed issues in contemporary art of the new millennium.