Polina is a Russian, Mexican and New Yorker interdisciplinary artist. She creates works on paper, artist books, puppets and performances. In Polina’s artwork the female figures take center stage in a world of myth, ritual, symbolism and cultural syncretism. In her performances she explores the relationship with the audience where she defies social norms and traditions offering another possible world. Through play and melancholy, using personal and borrowed stories she creates artworks that can be experienced on stage, on camera or the street.
Polina’s artwork has been exhibited by LEIMAY, El Museo del Barrio, and the Queens Museum in New York City. She has held individual exhibitions in the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca in Mexico, the Embassy of Mexico in Kuwait, and The University of Texas at El Paso.
In 2021 Grace Exhibition Space, held a retrospective of Polina's work in “Open Skins / 13 years of performance art.” Showing more than twenty-five of her performances in video, photographs and ephemera.
In 2015 Polina was a featured artist in the Catalogue of Cultural Offerings of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the same year she was selected for the First Food Residency as part of the UK-Mexico dual year. Between 2012 and 2016 Polina collaborated with Loteria Performing Arts and sculptor Hugo Arquimedes creating “Exercise of Melancholy” a multimedia work of performance art, dance and sculpture. In another collaboration with painter Valerie Ghoussaini and actor-playwright Noelle Ghoussaini a work called “Six Views: Women of Power and Interest” was performed at the Venice Biennale in 2017.
Polina received the Queens Community Arts Fund Award in 2017, 2012 and 2009 to create four different artworks: a puppet play inspired on Aztec mythology “Los Alebrijes en Busca del Sol,” a video documentary about her grandmothers, a public intervention in regards to International Women’s Day and a public mural displaying the national flowers of the international community living in Queens, New York.
In 2013 and 2019 Polina performed at the international performance biennial “Encuentro,” organized by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City. She has also performed at La MaMa Theater, Ailey Theater, The Museum of the American Indian, City Tech in New York City; Artsadmin in London and the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City.
She has received numerous commissions from El Museo del Barrio, one of the foremost Latin American cultural institutions in the United States. First in 2009 with the creation of an original multimedia performance for the Day of Dead celebrations "Journey to Mictlan and Back." Also in that year she was commissioned to design and build El Museo’s new three kings puppets; by emphasizing on the institution's heritage she created The Taino Three Puppets, which have now become an important part of the museum’s image and have paraded every year since.
Then in 2017, 2018 and 2020 El Museo commissioned three other works in relation to the puppets and Day of the Dead celebration: a stop-motion animation and two multimedia performances.
Polina received a Master in Fine Arts and Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute in 2008.