IMSS Artist-in-Residence, Fall 2021

Artist-in-Residence, Anastasia Sitnikova

Anastasia Sitnikova showcases her work as a capstone of her research conducted at the International Museum of Surgical Science during her residency. New work created in response to the Museum’s exhibits and collections on display invites the viewer to reflect on what the artist has experienced and continues to contemplate in the field of medicine and psychosurgery. Her artistic research is centered around the issue of violence in human nature. Sitnikova questions the cure of violence for humanity, and whether it lies in the psychological, physiological, sociological, theological, philosophical, or political fields.

Searching for an Exit explores the connection between the body, mind, and instincts. The installation is divided into three parts, each space focusing on a different solution for the treatment of human violence and aggression. She replicates nipples in cold industrial materials to create a speculative collective space for a reunion with her individual past. The work references minimalist sculpture in form while reflecting the weight of childhood experience affecting her life years later. At the heart of Sitnikova’s aesthetic choice orders, a feature inherent in idealistic ideas about an ideal society and contrary to the chaotic real world. She fills this cold, orderly space with human feelings, fantasies, daydreams, and nightmares—illustrating the contradiction between idealistic expectations and disorderly results. 



Kegel, 2018

Found object, fabric, unglazed porcelain, leather, upholstery nails, and foam on wooden support

Anastasia Sitnikova (b. 1979, Russia) is a Chicago artist and art educator. Her art is driven by the curiosity about human nature and social relations as a representation of inner self and outer world, subconscious and conscious, correspondingly. Sitnikova creates large-scale installations to illustrate, activate and explore these ideas. Like many of us, she tries to understand other people through her own experience and find common ground that can make our coexistence more meaningful and enjoyable. Sitnikova holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s degree in Management from the State University of Management, Moscow, Russia. Her work has been exhibited at educational institutions, non-profit and commercial galleries in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Learn more about the artist at and follow her on Instagram at @stacy_sitnikova.

About the Residency Program: As artistic practice occupies an increasingly pluralistic field, The International Museum of Surgical Science believes that artists are uniquely equipped to extrapolate on Museum collections in innovative ways and introduce novel perspectives to the institutional depiction of medical history. The IMSS Artist Residency Program provides working artists with:

  • Access to the Museum’s extensive collections and archive
  • Visibility on the Museum’s website and social media channels
  • A month-long capstone Solo Exhibition (or equivalent presentation) at the Museum

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.