Contemporary Narratives - Photography: A Short Guide to History, Theory, and Practice: Online Course Starting April 27th 2022
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Wednesday, 14 February 2018
After the Firebird by Ekaterina Vasilyeva
My latest short youtube review is of After the Firebird by Ekaterina Vasilyeva. This is a beautiful handmade book (with thread colours that match the innards of the signatures) which is still available.
It tells the story of Ekaterina's grandparents, and the land they live on, and the magic of that land. There are images and there is text (and I think the text could just be about the grandparents but then that's me and that's the place I'm in. We all have our prejudices and that's one of mine). The images are quite recognisable in some ways but altogether there's a strong sense of place and individuality in there which I really like.
The rather lovely thing about the Russian books I see is they still have a slightly different sensibility, they come from a different place and have a sense of identity about them. Sometimes it's to do with the land which is what After the Firebird is about (and that ties in with yesterday's post) but sometimes they are just to do with what seems to be a bit of oddness. There seems to be an urgency not to conform (at least in the small independently produced world) whereas in other places, everybody wants to be the same, while pretending not to want to be the same. There's always that question of what have other people done so I can copy it?
And when everybody is trying to make pictures or books or stories that fit within an easy genre, it is astonishingly refreshing to see something different, that sits in the hand and has some eccentricity to it. It also means a different language is being used, but I have a post on that, the myth of visual language, coming up soon. Here's a clue, photography is not a language. Obviously. Duh!
Ha, ha. I'll leave it there before I change my mind about that statement. And the Duh!
Buy After the Firebird here. It's lovely and there are 20 left.