Monday 5 May 2014

Albina Kumirova: an artist of our time

The Madonna Of Our Time, by Albina Kumirova is a stunning work in more ways than one. In its full original glory, it must dominate a room, not just because of its nine feet by five feet dimensions, but by the sheer power of its imagery. The artist has imagined the Madonna and Child, threatened as they would be in today's world by the bovine thuggishness of social workers and their hellhounds in blue.

The symmetry of the piece is almost perfect. The two creatures who face the viewer on either side of the painting are at once truly wicked, and at the same time completely indifferent to what is happening behind them. The policeman who stands with his arms folded, and the two on the right who are chatting to each other are likewise not responsible in their minds for the atrocity that is occurring in front of them. After all, they are merely officers of the law, there to ensure that a terrible injustice can pass off unhindered.

We can see the face of the Madonna quite clearly, as She and the Christ are the only figures in light. Within that light are what appear to be doves, or even angels, that are desperately trying to protect the Madonna and Child, but we can see from Her face that the darkness is about to envelop both of them.

Thus the road to Calvary goes through a social work office and police station.

Kumirova is an artist who makes the point in her works that evil is often not hot-blooded sadism. The worst evil is that which is carried out by people who are only doing their jobs. Such routine, banal evil is carried out by people in this work, called Professionals, which sums up such routine wickedness perfectly:

The faceless monsters who hold the blindfolded and naked  child, are not seeking to torture her. They might tell themselves that it is all for her own good, and the more honest among them will know that it is also about feathering their own beastly suburban nests, but none of that is uppermost in their minds. To them it is merely routine, the following of orders, because beyond order lies chaos, and they believe in the orders that they carry out. The fact that the child is being crucified by them is not their responsibility. They are merely professionals, doing their jobs.

Art in the service of a political cause is something that the Soviet Union excelled at. In Albina Kumirova, Britain has an artist schooled in that tradition who is weaving her magic in a noble cause, that of innocents caught up in the lunacy that is the British secret court system and its functionaries in the social work industry.

These works by Albina Kumirova can be seen on the 25 July, from 9.00am to 5.00pm at the Children Screaming To Be Heard conference, at 356 Holloway Road, London, N7-6PA. Speakers will include John Hemming MP, and the great Ian Josephs, a man who has helped to save many children from the social work industry.

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