Margarita Petrova’s "Dollhouse, gendered stories" is a very interesting art exhibition. It concerns works that create separate sections in each room of the exhibition space – it starts with a dollhouse, and continues with drawers and frames, a veil, a garden, and a playroom.
The artworks are made entirely of old and disused objects, found in the main. The way in which they are composed highlights the narrative as much of their earlier materiality as of their subsequent appropriation. As objects they acquire conceptual significance with reference to the relationships between the genders in all their manifestations. The Dollhouse of 2012 refers to the girlish game, but displays aspects of a real family’s daily routine threatened by material poverty, spiritual stagnation and erotic bankruptcy. The Drawers of 2012-2014 reflect a sense of iconostases, which protect their precious contents - passions, reveries and nostalgias. The Frames of 2010 present the decoration of a bourgeois living room with works that reveal the abolition of memory, the lack of communication and the underlying violence. The wall is shared by canvases prepared with designs meant to be embroidered by women directed beyond the freedom of expression. The Veil of 2008, which transforms the worthlessness of found material into preciousness, is a monument to the bride who follows the traditional conventions. The Eco-Webs 2008 are covers made of artificial lawns that conceal the underlying structure. The horticultural interventions on them suggest psychological scars, wounds and holes. The Playroom of 2014 focuses on the fate of a crushed vessel, pieces of which are located in the centre of the composition and on the surrounding chairs. The work psychoanalyzes the relationship of the vessel with both its predecessors and its viewers. The lace embroidery that covers the earth in the centre refers to the social coating over real life.
Having the experience of the exhibition, viewers perceive the broader sense of the dollhouse, which is an allegory for the human condition. Thus, Petrova puts the viewers into a viewing position of the internal strengths or weaknesses that develop in human relations, which is an extension of themselves.