Yola Monakhov

Yola Monakhov

Work from Living Pictures.

“The work takes its name from 19th century tableaux vivants, which staged living scenes suspended in time. But rather than freezing life into image, I pursue the impossibility of unfrozen life. Through collaborations with scientists, ecologists, growers, and other naturalists, I bring studio setups into the living environment. I engage the near absurdity of this process, and confront, through photographs, both ineffable subject and my own agency.

Referencing the contact-printed albums of Anna Atkins and illustrations of John James Audubon, this work originated with plant life and horticulture motifs, and grew to encompass birds, river systems, and landscapes. I employ techniques of still life, genre drawing, sculpture, stroboscopic photography, and Land art, and reveal the analogic fingerprints of my interventions, visible accessories, imperfections, and light leaks.

I am particularly moved by the asymmetric relationship the photographs bear to their subjects: the subjects don’t reciprocate, and might rather avoid, the interest of the photographer. The pictures address the viewer’s desire for presence, experience, knowledge, and mastery over his environment, along with the limits of representation, and the subject itself, in fulfilling this desire.” – Humble Arts Foundation

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