Elena Kholkina’s artist photobook “The girl in front of the lake” pre-order available now.
RPS is now ready to take online pre-orders for Elena Kholkina’s artist photobook, “The girl in front of the lake”.
With this project Elena took part in the RPS Photobook Masterclass 2016 under the direction of Teun van der Heijden, Yumi Goto and Sandra Doelen and developed the original dummy into a fully handmade artist book, which has already taken part in a number of exhibitions and shortlists and is now ready for publishing in a limited number of editions.
This is a visual fable built from three types of photographic imagery.
The basis of the project is the idea of cyclic historical processes and how common social issues manifest through a personal private story.
In the book the author’s childhood from the vague and anxious 1980-90s is turned into a fairy tale through family archive slides taken by her parents and coexists with her own photographic diary of the present that tastes and smells a lot like back in the 1980-90s.
Slicing through the colorful narrative come dark disquieting artworks Lena makes as a visual artist.
In terms of the book design the inspiration came from Tarkovsky’s colour palette and the cinematic way of narration, as well as by Victor Pelevin’s (Russian contemporary writer) image of a train, which is interpreted in the layout via separating images in half and putting them close to page edges, to mimic the way one sees the world from a moving train.
I was born in Moscow in the 80s. In 1991 I went to sleep in the Soviet Union and woke up in Russia, and since then things started changing rapidly. People say my generation was born on a train – traveling bluntly from one country and epoch into another one. Right now when I’m grown up and still live in Moscow I often hear that many things have suddenly come back from the past into the present. I can feel what they say, on a sort of genetic level, even if I can’t confirm or deny or debate their opinion – I was too small to remember those things from the past people talk about. Reading the news and watching the current events I have a sort of a deja vu, a strange and sometimes frightening experience. There is a book by Victor Pelevin called “The Yellow Arrow” written in 1993 which tells about a Russian train with no visible beginning or end, hurtling somewhere sort of eternally, and it’s impossible to get off because the train makes no stops.
«The past is a locomotive that pulls the future after it –
Sometimes this past might even not be your own –
You are traveling backwards and see only what has already disappeared» – Victor Pelevin, «The Yellow Arrow».
Some time ago I found a box of old slides at my parents. They show my early childhood which I do not have any memories of. Seeing these slides I was quite surprised – they show an absolutely incredible unexpected way of life, which I could not have even dreamt of – those are very romantic, beautiful pictures, a kind of happy moments from a road trip movie. I understand that photos may be deceptive and that it is impossible to judge from them if my childhood was really that good – that was hardly a possibility in the reality of the late USSR years. I still do not remember anything about my childhood, but with pleasure I surrender to the power of images. My parents created this magic for me. These constructed memories of the past give me new strength in my present reality.
The images in the project come from three sources and two types of paper are used – the box of slides and my personal daily snapshots are printed on matt tactile paper, while the black landscapes I construct digitally from my photographs are printed on a glossy paper.
#dejavu #genetic memory #loop #atmosphere #elusive #fantasized #neurotic
«The girl in front of the lake»
fully handmade artist edition of 35 copies
20×26 cm, 168 pages
handbound, hardcover, 2 types of paper
**Book will be made to order for 2 to 3 weeks and shipped from the author in Russia.
The book dummy was shortlisted in Moscow Photobookfest 2017 and was exhibited at the 10th Anniversary Edition of Month of Photography (Los Angeles, 2018), «Familienarchiv» exhibition (Baden, Austria, 2018), Moscow Photobookfest (The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography Moscow, 2017), «Private relapse» exhibition (NCCA Moscow, 2017), Uglich Photoparade, 2017. It also became 2nd in the People’s Choice at the recent Bookmarket (Sakharov Center Gallery, November 2018) and 3rd in the Expert Choice of the Best Russian Photobooks 2018.
Visual artist, independent book-maker, choreographer.
Graduate of ICA Moscow and Fotodepartment.
Based in Moscow, Russia.
Lena works with photography, projection, video, dance, performance and self-publishes artist books of limited edition. Dancer’s background defines her interest to physicality and bodily manifestations in statics of the image and dynamics of the video.
Co-founder of the Russian Independent Selfpublished group, co-curator of creative laboratories 2017-2018, “A Book about Moscow/Renovation” (Lumiere Brothers Gallery), “A Book about Uglich” (XI Photo Parade in Uglich 2017), “ZIL ZIN” (Cultural centre ZIL)
Resident of KOSMOST festival of contemporary photography and art in Kostroma 2018, resident of ZIL Cultural Centre 2016, winner of the Urban Urge Awards 2014, winner of the Rock your dummy! (2013, Paris), shortlist Unseen Dummy Award 2014 and 2015 (Amsterdam). Reviewer at the portfolio review of XI Photoparade in Uglich, member of the jury of the Rock of your dummy! at Le Photobook Fest 2014 (Paris), workshop participant Reminders Photography Stronghold (Japan), Book Case Study (Netherlands), Tre Terzi (Sicily), ISSP (Latvia), Nico Baumgarten, Riot Books, Akina Books (United Kingdom), Jaap Scheeren (Netherlands), Clement Briand (France), ISSP (Latvia), FOAM magazine (Netherlands), Andrea Stultiens (Netherlands), Self Publish Be Happy (United Kingdom).
Selected exhibitions 2015-2018
V-A-C Foundation, Voies OFF Rencontres Arles, 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, 10th Month of Photography Los Angeles, Reminders Photography Stronghold Tokyo, The Lumiere Brothers Photography Gallery, Delhi Photofestival, Candela Gallery USA, Metenkov House Ekaterinburg, Aarhus Photobook Week, NCCA Moscow, Taiga Gallery St.Petersburg, MMOMA Moscow, Uglich Photoparade.