Polina Porras Sivolobova


Polina Porras Sivolobova is a Russian-Mexican artist, working simultaneously in the visual arts and in performance. Her artwork spans multiple disciplines such as drawing, artist books, video, photography and performance. Starting in 2012, Polina has been exploring her Mexican roots with performances such as Self-Anatomy 101, performed at La MaMa Experimental Theater in New York; she deconstructed her identity in 7 minutes as she peeled off ‘skins’ of different fabrics covering her body. In 2014, she has created and performed two major works: Viva la Vida and Santa Agua-Modificada. These multilayered performances explored Mexican iconography, rites of passage, indigenous and catholic syncretism, gender iconography, faith and nature. In 2013 Polina performed fifteen original works one being One and Not the Same Skin, a twenty-four hour long performance, exploring the passing of time and personal transformation using clothing as a metaphor. Also in the same year she started a multidisciplinary project Collector of Stones and Other Dead Things, this on-going project uses video and photo-performance to document walking as performance and the collection of stuff along the way as the get ‘transformed’ into objects of art. In 2010 Polina directed and produced her first video-documentary Mi Abuela, Моя Бабушка (My Grandmother, My Grandmother) relating her bicultural background through her grandmothers: one Russian and the other Mexican. Polina’s deep interest in education and relational aesthetics has taken her to explore street interventions as a pedagogical tool such as in ¿Dónde están Piecitos Azul? and Queens of Love, both interactions point to the vulnerability of communities at risk such are the children street-vendors in Chiapas, Mexico and the women immigrant community in Jackson Heights, New York. Her artwork has been shown at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, El Museo del Barrio, The Smithsonian Institute, The Queens Museum of Art, Grace Exhibition Space and Glasshouse in New York City and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca in Mexico. Polina has received major commissions from El Museo del Barrio and the Department of Cultural Affairs of New York City. Polina has a twelve-year career as an educator teaching in schools, libraries and museums as well as in the immigrant communities in the city of New York. She received a Master in Fine Arts and Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Currently, she lives and works between New York City and Oaxaca, Mexico.