Sveta Mordovskaya, Matrjoschka III, 2018, ceramic, toys, bobby pins, 4 3⁄8 × 8 5⁄8 × 5 1⁄2".

Sveta Mordovskaya

Weiss Falk

What is there is not quite what we see. “Suckly Eye,” the peculiar phrase that Sveta Mordovskaya coined for the title of her recent show, encapsulates her creative practice: She conceives of language, like the materials out of which she makes her art, as malleable and amenable to permutation. The neologism suckly is a portmanteau of the idiomatic expression “That sucks,” or the derived adjective sucky, with the verbs to suck and to suckle, and suggests that bodily visual pleasure includes an admixture of aggressive desire. The monstrosity of a single eye thus becomes associated with forms of explicitly physical contact with sexual overtones, while sucking and suckling underscore a process of taking and giving: One body fills up while another empties out.

In this exhibition, a similar interdependence was suggested by references to Russian matrjoschka dolls: sets of nested hollow figures

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