22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Wiktoria Lomasko

Victoria Lomasko was born in Serpukhov, Russia in 1978. Since completing her studies in Graphic Design at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts in 2003, she works on the border of graphic art, activism and contemporary art. Since then she has published illustrations in various magazines and newspapers, with a focus on graphic reportage – a field she also taught. She thereby takes recourse to Russian traditions of the pictorial report as used in the gulag, during the siege of Leningrad, and in the military.

Her own works in this genre explore how contemporary Russian society comprises various communities and what their interior life is like. Lomasko is especially interested in people at the margins of society, like Orthodox activists (2008) or activists campaigning for the rights of gays and lesbians, foreign guest workers, and sex-workers. She works not only with human rights organizations, but also with the mass media. Her works have been shown at Russian and international exhibitions. Lomasko also organized two long-term projects that combine art and activism, collaborating with Nadya Plungian to curate the project »Feminist Pencil« and with Zlata Ponirovska on the art initiative »Drawing the Court«. As a courtroom artist, Lomasko specializes in documenting politically motivated trials of artists and opposition people like the punk band Pussy Riot and the »May 6 Prisoner«. The project seeks attention not only for these cases, but also for the artistic dimension, because a drawing, unlike a photo, enables the artist to inject his own evaluation of the situation into the developing work of art through the choice of sketch, its style, and the accompanying commentaries. Hundreds of such drawings executed by various artists over the project’s six-year course can be viewed in an electronic archive on the website risuemsud.ru. Lomasko also published »Chronik des Widerstands« (tr Chronicle of resistance), a pictorial documentation of the street protests staged against the Russian government in the winter of 2011/2012. The comic reportage »Boomkniga« (2011; tr Forbidden art), coauthored with Anton Nikolaev and reporting on the trial of the organizers of the art exhibition of the same name, also drew attention and was published in three languages.

Victoria Lomasko took part in the Swiss-Russian exchange project »Pas de Deux« in the framework of the Fumetto Comics Festival in Lucerne in 2015. She lives in Moscow.