Social norms on human body intrigue me. Growing up in the era of Perestroika, I come to age during my country’s integration into Western preoccupation with personal freedom and individuality. My childhood and youth served as a starting point for using the camera to establish my own relationships to the idea of exposure. I never had a lot of friends and stayed home for most of my life, yet it was photography that gave me strength to interact with others. I photograph people only, because they are strange, and unknown.
My photographs are about desire – desire not only to make a good picture in terms of structural beauty, but also to dominate my subjects in order to approach them as objects or sculptures. Making photographs is an unscripted performance. My subject performs for the camera as I perform for them in order to get as deep as I can from them physically and emotionally. My subjects are people who I am attracted to and my wish is to capture them in the moments when their sense of self-consciousness is dismantled and no longer private, right when their natural instincts are revealed. The resulting pictures are the evidence of an intimate experience that transforms both my subject and myself into someone we have never been before, and, in many cases, we fear.
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NEITHER YOU NOR I from Yulia Spiridonova on Vimeo.