The NO More Manifesto
On 5 March SAAS Gallery launched The NO More Manifesto, an art installation created by renowned French multidisciplinary artist, actress and filmmaker Frederique Feder. The launch was timed to coincide with International Women's Day and Say No More Week, a global initiative which aims to end domestic abuse.
The NO More Manifesto continues Frederique’s work around the female psyche, a recurring theme in her artwork. The concept was inspired by Frederique’s late mother, who experienced domestic abuse. The art installation is a public declaration highlighting behaviours that subjugate people, contributing to poor mental health, disempowerment, anxiety and social isolation. Frederique explains: "I can still remember the day that my mother got the phone call and she was told to 'pack a bag and leave with me. There and then, she literally had all of her possessions - her life, in that one bag - and she had to start over. It’s a story that I know will resonate with many women".
“I wanted to use my art to explore the connection between mental health and self-empowerment, to give something back that might have helped my mother at a time when she was at her lowest."
The NO More Manifesto was initially designed as a project combining not only 3D, video and photography materials but also live performances when Frederique was in residence. The mechanics of Frederique's performances were being kept closely under wraps until the launch date as there was an element of public involvement. The intimate space at SAAS Gallery was completely transformed in order to transport guests into the comfort and safety of a vintage, bygone-era.
The art project was curated by Lukas Kroulik who has an extensive experience in connecting the art world and charities. With the help of Lukas, Frederique Feder and SAAS Gallery were supporting Woman’s Trust, a specialist mental health charity which provides free counselling and therapy to women who have experienced domestic abuse.
Speaking of what motivated them to join the project, Woman’s Trust CEO, Heidi Riedel explained: “Domestic abuse has a significant impact on mental health and emotional wellbeing; something Frederique understands all too well given her own mother’s experience - and we see it, every day, in the women we support through our counselling and therapy. We’re delighted to be working with Frederique and SAAS Gallery on this creative art installation which examines the way people absorb and supress various negative emotions and behaviours – and the impact this has on our daily lives.”
About Frederique Feder
Frederique’s biography includes the critically-acclaimed and award-winning film Three Colours: Red. As a multidisciplinary artist she has been curated and exhibited by art collector Agnes b., she has also exhibited photography, painting and sculpture in galleries around the world, including Saatchi Gallery, Love Market, Scope, Space Gallery.
About Lukas Kroulik
Lukas is a portrait photographer and producer of creative events. Lukas has over a decade’s experience working with his own extensive professional network of artists and their sponsors. His focus is on awareness raising projects, he has collaborated with the Czech Centre London, the British Heart Foundation, Children With Cancer, Hope for Heroes and Faculty from London Business School.
About Woman’s Trust
Woman’s Trust is a specialist mental health charity that provides free counselling and therapy for women who have experienced domestic abuse. Established in 1996, the charity has supported more than 16,000 women from across London in their recovery from abuse; delivering over 40,000 counselling sessions alone – providing the equivalent of more than £6m in free mental health care. Their bespoke approach to counselling has been tailored to address the specific emotional and psychological trauma often experienced by survivors.
Born in Moscow, Masha Trotzky started her art career in 2009, became the “Best Photographer of Russia” (2010) National Award winner, received the Silver Graphis Award in New York (2015) and Aesthetica Art Prize in UK (2015). Artist and jewellery designer, she has had solo exhibitions in Moscow, Florence, Barcelona, Hamburg, Brussels, Milan and Bologna.
The series “Social Madness” is dedicated to the new aesthetic and ideology dictated to us by social networks. How did Facebook and YouTube change our habits and behaviour and language? How fake materials and fake news became an obligatory part of our life? And who are they - the People of the Future? This project was created in 2019 and will be shown in London for the first time.
“NewsPaperWork” Jewellery collection was created by Masha Trotzky in 2015 as an extension of art project dedicated to the role of propaganda and news in contemporary society.
The idea is to recycle aggressive propaganda campaigns into something beautiful, creative and humane.
The art of Anna Birshtein is famous for bright and expressive language. Anna Birshtein is a hedonist, which defines emotional tonality of her works.
Anna Birshtein was born in the family of two famous artists Max Birshtein and Nina Vatolina (who created the most well-known Soviet poster 'Ne Boltai' /'Don’t Talk'). Anna graduated from Moscow State Art Institute in 1967. She is a member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts; in 2003 she was awarded with the silver medal of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
Anna’s works are presented in the leading state museums of Russia, among which are the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Russian Museum. Her paintings are part of permanent collection of the National Museum “Women in arts” in Washington. Her works are also presented in private and corporate collections in the USA, Russia, UK, France, Austria, Monaco and other parts of Europe. Anna was one of the first Soviet artists who exhibited her works in London and Edinburg for the first time in 1987.
The series “Flowers” are summer-like festive still lives drawn from nature. Critics mark a surprising love for life in the artist’s artworks.
Anna repels all prejudices on female art. “Female artist, just a male artist, can be commercially demanded”, Anna says. “Our generation has many great artists-women, and there are almost no men equal to them. Nevertheless, there is no “female art”. I do not believe women perceive world anyhow else. Age and gender are not important in fine arts'.
Soviet avant-garde artist Alexander Labas entered the history of Soviet art as a romantic, praising the wonders of machinery of the young state. Indeed, everything at the time seemed marvelous, illuminated by bright sunshine and subservient to the power of the mind. Thus appeared the progress in the paintings of the artist, and in the best Soviet poetry. Undoubtedly, the main themes in the paintings of Labas – speed, movement and technical perfection.
According to biography of Alexander Labas, he studied at the Imperial Stroganov School of Industrial Art in the studio of F. Rerberg, then in the studio of I. Mashkov. Since 1917 he continued his studies at the State Art Studios (VHUTEMAS) in the workshops of F. Malyavin, Konchalovsky, Kazimir Malevich, Kandinsky, P. Kuznetsov, K. Istomin, and A. Lentulov. However, the same as many of his colleagues of the time, served as the artist of the 3rd Army of the Eastern Front (1919). Then, at the invitation of V. Favorsky taught painting and chromatics in the All-Union State art workshops (since 1924). In 1920 – 1930-ies engaged in stage design of performances at the Theater of the Revolution, named after VF Komissarzhevskaya and the State Jewish Theater (GOSET).
In addition, Alexander Labas made panoramas and dioramas for the Soviet pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris (1937), and the World’s Fair in New York (1939), as well as for the Main Pavilion of All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (1938-1941). Alexander Labas – one of the founding members of the OST (Society of Easel Artists).