Mediated presence/ performance
by Ksenia Yurkova
October 2017
Helsinki – St.Petersburg



It’s been a while since I’ve been having a text on my website “Represented by Fotodepartament”, legitimizing financial relations between me and my gallery. One’s expectations do not always coincide with reality, an issue thoroughly scrutinized by visual art.

My institutionally addressed performance was dedicated to a quite Lacanian question: do financial relations exist? (il n’y a pas de rapport financier).
I touched on sensitive questions of an artist’s built-in to a system of social and power relations; questions of artist’s body as a subject of biological needs and as a medium and object of artistic study; and the main – the question of artist’s labor, its marginal cost in a proportion of man-hour and product.

Using a group video-chat broadcasted in a gallery space as well as to the Internet, during 4 hours an audience was getting a chance to word me a task, which I complied right away after the means dropped to my account.
I was physically present in my studio in Finland, virtually – in a gallery space where the Presence Festival took place; as well as in the group chat available from anywhere. One could connect sending me an email in advance, or do it anonymously using a straight link. All the tasks were given through a chat window and were provided with timing. A minimal cost of one minute was 2 Euros. In 4 hours I earnt 36 Euros. Necessary to mention, more than a half of tasks were given from a gallery space, to enter which people paid a fee (7-17 Euros).


Ksenia Yurkova is a Russian artist currently based in Helsinki. She works primarily with photography, video and artist’s books. The main focus of her interest is language: the varieties of its substance, the possibility of conversion, its mythological aspect, stereotyping (the question of personal and political self-identification and identification by others), problems of memory, attitudes, and reliance. Ksenia Yurkova has taken part in numerous shows and festivals worldwide. At the moment she is studying towards her MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts of Uniarts Helsinki.