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Foco Gallery presents ‘Between these lines I operate’, a site-specific solo exhibition by the artist Evy Jokhova. Using the grid as a conceptual framework for social interaction and the role of women in domestic architecture Jokhova creates a site for reflection and engagement that questions our understanding of space and how our bodies interact within the domestic environment.

The gallery space is transformed into an immersive/atmospheric experience where the artist creates a story line and a visual game for the audience to draw their own versions of this narrative by adding their personal references and archetypes to it. Thus building a communal sentiment and history through shared references and an individual’s willingness to engage.

Drawing oblique references to architecture, women’s labour in the domestic environment, and body memory ‘Within these lines I operate’ opens a field of enquiry into how we gather as a society and the shared symbols that culturally bind us. The exhibition creates spaces that feel familiar, like a home, rife with potential for collectivity or contemplation. In this way, the exhibition evokes our need for common social narrative (rituals): common ground through which we might find ways to act together or respond to each other.

The grid itself is not a place where you would like to surrender but is instead envisaged as an ‘everywhere’ in the human realm. Cities, patterns, the way we organise in our modern world, all have a tangible relation to the grid. We live inside grids and interact with the structure throughout our life often without paying any special notice of it. Grids shape our social relations, our body, gestures and the way we move within space.

Evy Jokhova creates an atmosphere where the audience is encouraged to question these lines and forms, observe the social connotations they have, sense the place they may have in their life, and then attempt to surrender by creating new meanings.

Written by Aude Vignac

Images courtesy Galeria Foco/credit Photodocumenta

A Zebra loved a line and a line loved a Zebra
But the Zebra lived in the wild and the line lived inside 
Nothing ever happened in that house, except for the wallpaper
After eating blue marzipan the Zebra told the line

Come with me. Let the walls loose.

The floor felt chalky and the windows turned soft
I cannot leave with you before I wash the dishes
Someone might think I left because I am a bad housekeeper
The Zebra fancied growing herself some soapy wings

Throw the stones. Fly with me.

The line liked to hear the purple dance of the sea from a distance
She dreamt of her distant ocean cousin, an exotic horizon line
I cannot leave with you before I clean the windows
The windows agreed, and she cleaned them

Sing with me. Wear dew on that rose.

The Zebra licked her phone’s screen into a mood
It was a great mood, and she wore it like a hat
I cannot leave with you before I vacuum the floors
Someone might think I left to escape my chores

Do like the mushroom in the forest. Grow plump with me.

When I leave I want everyone to say She had no fault
I thought it was impossible to love a loose line
To love her as much as if she was a bride
I cannot leave with you before I do the laundry

Fur, black, or white. Life is bright brown, my dear.

The Zebra threw her stripes into the washing machine
Cook those away and wrap yourself around me
The line embraced the Zebra and became a Zebra crossing
They danced farewell to the house on their mango wings.

A Zebra loved a line and a line loved a Zebra
They lived in a wild house and ate pink guavas
Nothing ever happened in the house, except everything else did
They filled it with tassels because they liked the way it feels

By Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva