Sonja Yakovleva – Who has Power? Striking Bodies

04.05.2024 — 04.08.2024

Curated by Franziska Nori

In the exhibition Who has Power? Striking Bodies, the Frankfurter Kunstverein has invited two emerging Frankfurt-based artists, Gintarė Sokelytė and Sonja Yakovleva, to present their largest institutional solo shows so far. With powerful new works, they have created self-sufficient pictorial spaces in which the question of power is posed subversively—what power are bodies exposed to, and what power is exercised by bodies in public space?

Sonja Yakovleva has been creating monumental papercuts with exuberant pictorial compositions for years. She became known for her ironic pop-feminist motifs, which developed into a manifesto of self-empowered female physicality. In this current exhibition, she looks at class issues and power relations in an achievement-oriented society. Yakovleva caricatures the cult of the body, the obsession with beauty and the competitiveness of today’s fitness culture as symptoms of internalised norms. In her visual worlds, she stages and reveals the work performed on one’s own body as a means of dictating a compulsion to perform. As a counterpoint to this, Yakovleva examines labour as a necessity both for people and for the functioning of cities and society as a whole.

Who has Power? Striking Bodies is an invitation to take a sensual approach to contemporary phenomena through the works of Sonja Yakovleva and Gintarė Sokelytė. The exhibition is embedded in the Frankfurter Kunstverein’s programmatic focus, which is committed to promoting emerging artists from Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region and presenting innovative perspectives on social issues.

Sonja Yakovleva (*1989, Potsdam, DE) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main (DE). She studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach and the Athens School of Fine Arts (GR). She is a member of the collective KVTV, with whom Yakovleva operates the video blog KulturvotzenTV on contemporary art on Instagram and curates exhibition and publication projects. Sonja Yakovleva has exhibited in various institutions, including Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam (DE), Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen (DE), Klingspor Museum, Offenbach am Main (DE), Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, Nordhorn (DE), saasfee pavillon, Frankfurt am Main (DE), and Neuer Kunstverein Gießen, Gießen (DE).