Varvara Keidan Shavrova

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Varvara Keidan Shavrova is a contemporary visual artist, curator, director, and researcher. She has spent most of her adult life living and working between London, Dublin, Berlin and Beijing. Keidan Shavrova received her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and has been awarded a prestigious AHRC London Arts & Humanities Partnership Studentship for her practice-based PhD at the Royal College of Art.

She has exhibited and curated projects internationally, including: Across Chinese Cities: Beijing at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, The Opera (2010) at Gallery of Photography Ireland and at Espacio Cultural El Tanque, Tenerife, Untouched" (2008) at Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City and at The City Museum and Galway Arts Festival in Ireland, Inna’s Dream (2019) at Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Southwark Park Galleries, and Haptic Codes (2022) at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London. She curated The Sea is the Limit (2017 – 2019) for York City Art Gallery and Virginia University School of Art in Qatar, bringing together works by international artists addressing the issues of refugees, borders, migration and national identity.

Keidan Shavrova has contributed articles, essays, and reviews to international publications, including Visual Artists Ireland, Virginia Commonwealth University Arts Qatar magazine, and Yale Publications, among others. She has recently contributed the paper DIFFICULT PASTS. CONNECTED WORLDS: Lithuanian artistic and cultural struggle for self-determination as a symbol made relevant by Putin’s war in Ukraine presented at the international conference 100 Years of Self Determination at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2022).

She presented a paper on Ukrainian and Lithuanian artists’ struggle for self-determination during Putin’s invasion at the international conference The Politics of Memory as a Weapon at Museum of Documentation of Flight and Migration in Berlin (2023). She was an invited speaker in the discussion Transnational Perspectives on Heritage and Memory in Eastern Europe at the Conference From Crisis to Future: New Responsibilities for Museums at James Simon Gallery, Berlin (2024).

‘In my research I re-examine the conjunction between art, technology, and the state in relation to the modernist avant-garde and develop new models for ‘poetic technologies’ that can present a critical framework in the age of surveillance capitalism. Following the explorations into technology made by the artists of the modernist avant-garde and utopianism, I reroute their trajectory towards the domestic realm, as a methodology to radically re-engage with the inspiration of flight, of technology and of dreams, and to scope the imagination in the state formation processed through a post-feminist perspective.’ 

Along with Susan Stockwell, Varvara showed a series of works in Haptic Codes at Patrick Heide Contemporary Art (2022) which featured her ongoing series of stitched works Threads of Surveillance and Soft Drones works (2020-2021).

Keidan Shavrova is currently completing a practice based PhD at the Royal College of Art, London, 'Dreamworlds of Flight in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism'.

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