Photo project “Portrait of time”

The female image in art has attracted the attention of artists and photographers for centuries: a woman-mystery, a woman-mother, a woman-muse — these and many other incarnations are reflected in the works of the greatest authors. The heroes of this Afisha.London material were several photographers at once, whose works are united by the theme of a female portrait through the prism of time in the project Portrait of Time: Alexandra Golubchikova, Daria Kuznetsova, Katsiaryna Yauseyenka, and Kamila Banks.


Alexandra Golubchikova, the artist from Izhevsk, researches the way a person changes with the time and the image this person holds thinking of the future. Her artworks appear to be the photographs taken in a fog, with a female figure looking outside of the picture or right onto the viewer trying to start the dialogue. The backgrounds chosen for the female portraits are mostly foggy blue, orange or black. She interprets the unique way the portraited person thinks of herself, talking about the fears the model may have while imagining the future.



Katsiaryna Yauseyenka, born in Belarus, has been working for a long time far from her hometown, and these photographs were taken in another country that is alien to her. Introducing new social and cultural norms around life in foreign country seems to be a bit frightful and hostile, sometimes. Through her portraits, the artist expresses her feelings such as adaptation to the new rules of behavior, the desire to please other people, and the aim to be liked by everyone and to survive. With her art Katsiaryna reflects an everyday life, where she notices many bright sides. Every time she is attracted by small details trying to show them in her photo series — the turn of the head, a thoughtful look, a barely noticeable shadow on the wall. These details show real life without masks, while people continue to wear them even when being portrayed.



The genre of the portrait is not the only one Daria Kuznetsova works with, but the artist considers it to be a fair reflection of the inner world of the model, as she is seeking the right angle to make a shot, following the mimics and body movements. While working she is looking for a connection with the material world. Still, the subject of photography is not the focus of her work but only the way of the documental and art photography. The artist looks more than mesmerized by how an object can tell a story and create a narrative.



Here, the theme of her series is tightly connected with the nostalgia, self-reflection, and memories, it highlights the fragility, and inner vulnerability before the world there outside. On the first image of her friend the portrait shows a great story of relationships, it talks about the connection the women have and quite an emotional atmosphere, and strong feelings.


Photo: Kamila Banks


The artworks of the photographer Kamila Banks show her exceptional visionary thinking and her ability to conduct research. Thanks to her experience of living in different countries and the profound education she freely experiments with techniques, different cameras, and lenses. Being born in Dagestan, the South of Russia, the artist feels nostalgia and cultural connections with her traditional culture and history. Nonetheless, the irony and a sense of humor could be noticed in the story she reveals in her photo series. The most attractive genre for her is a classical portrait and the landscapes, which she masterfully combines, trying to use any element of architecture in the shot as a reflection and research of her cultural background which is transformed with the time. The questions of national identity and social connections are the most acute for the artist, and these themes are well shown in her feminine portraits — fragile and strong models of different ages as a thoughtful reflection of the time passing.



Alisa Lisovskaia, art critic, curator, art market analyst

Cover photo: Alexandra Golubchikova



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