The Conflict Project is an artist's reflection on the struggle between individuality and the system, based on personal trauma—living within subjugating structures. Since early childhood, society suppresses and criticizes those who strive for individuality: "stop dreaming," "don't stand out," "don't rock the boat." The pressure we feel to conform to societal norms manifests as fear and shame for who we are.
Through the lens of personal experience, the artist perceives symptoms of a global disease. "I know how long they broke me, and I see how others are broken every day." This applies to all spheres of public life: culture, education, politics. Elizaveta Berkutova does not romanticize protest, nor does she seek to dedicate her art to the struggle. Still, the unprocessed trauma hinders both the individual artist and Russian art as a whole from breathing freely. The author creates the project, feeling an internal necessity to speak on this subject.
"I genuinely wanted to create lightness and purity, wanted to avoid getting into complexities, but as the details were thought out, the form became more complex, and so did my thoughts. I was filled with anger, fear, and shame."
Works from the Conflict series resemble frames from the Baroque era. Refined, lace-like forms of objects frame the encompassing emptiness—a space of freedom where the artist places words, symbols, or leaves it unfilled. Some objects are accompanied by elements of performance, where the fate of the work is determined by its owner. For example, a candlestick frame can be preserved as an artifact or burned, performing an act of artistic deconstruction—a gesture of liberation and purification.