Friday, January 6, 2012
I first saw Evgenia Arbugaeva's work at Lensculture/FotoFest in Paris year before last and was instantly intrigued. Apparently the other reviewers felt the same way as they awarded her, out of all the attending photographers, the 400 Euro prize from Blurb.
I was happy to see she submitted work from her Tiksi series to Critical Mass this year (2011), where she was one of the initial book award finalists. Evgenia gracefully declined the inclusion as she felt she is not done with this series yet - she still has a few more trips to Tiksi to build on this body of work.
Newspace's Laura Valenti Jelen saw Evgenia's work jurying Critical Mass and gave her a show which opens tonight - thank you, Laura!
Evgenia's work transcends "documentary" or "ethnographic" photography. It shows us a stage-like, playful world that seems to exist through a childhood vantage point. This might make sense as she grew up in Tiksi, which is located on the Siberian coast of Russia.
Evgenia's world is a magical, ethereal world (slightly science-fiction-y) that has been created through her poetic imagination, instead of the perhaps more realistic frozen, remote community that logistically is hard for a traveler to reach. To visit, one needs a special permit because of its strategic and military importance since the years of the Cold War.
Opening is tonight! See you there!