Irina Birger is fascinated with human nature and its desire to belong, to be a part of a community and identify with its people. Connectedness therefore is the key issue in her work, in its factual meaning and as an abstract structure. In Birger’s research the constant attraction of the self with the social is a central theme. From the artist’s position as observer, she tries to eliminate the barriers between the group and the singular while acknowledging individuality, and so enabling an ideal coexistence. Birger uses a range of strategies and methods to encourage this connection, such as personal sharing and staging in specific spheres and locations.
Growing up in the Soviet Union, Birger experienced the powerful mechanisms of propaganda that repressed independent thought and inquiry. Its methods were not just practical, but also extremely visual. Social Realist style and Stalinist Imperial architecture greatly influenced her artistic development. Their monumental arrangements inspire admiration, humility and wonder, similar to the visual impact of the Russian Orthodox Church and other sacred formations. As a result, Birger is strongly interested in the visual strategies and formal principles of different religions, cults and totalitarian regimes, and incorporate them in her work. Central symmetry, patterns, slogans and monumental approach appear in her drawings, videos, animations and installations.