In this series, the ideal depiction of the Russian provinces, that exist somewhere, hidden from view, is made incarnate. The photographs reveal something previously unseen or more likely irrevocably lost and yet familiar — from paintings, book illustrations and films.
The author steps away from her usual documentary style and immerses the viewer in the ephemeral space of an imagined idyll. Despite the illusory nature of this world, the photographs become convincing evidence of its existence. Dimly familiar forms are developed and become instantly recognisable — yes, everything looked exactly like that.
By selectively leaving outside the frame the trappings of modernity, the author places the images on a timeless plane. The few contemporary objects that stay in the frame, not connected to present day aesthetics, serve as a reminder that what we are seeing depicted is 'life-as-it-is'. Deprived of a sense of belonging to a particular time, the images are drawn one step away from their normal space, closer to the mythical 'Mzensk'.
The project was among the finalists of Kandinsky contemporary art prize in 2014.
In 2017, «Mzensk» was selected to be part of AMPLITUDE No.1, a set of 10 books by 10 Russian authors working with photography presented by FotoDepartment Foundation. AMPLITUDE is a periodic project that presents current names and the forms in which contemporary photography exists in Russia today.
AMPLITUDE No.1 was short-listed for Paris Photo — Aperture Foundation Awards 2017