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Place to Be

Lviv, Ukraine – April 2013. Painter Myroslav Vaida

Place to Be, photo essay by Kostya Smolyaninov


The most interesting thing for me at present time is portrait photography. No wonder, because the most interesting thing for human is another human. I feel the space around person that I see through the lens is no lesser important than the individuality of portrayed person. From the other hand, one can say that I photograph no person, but the space around it and this is not interesting for portrayed. C’est La Vie, but it is my personal style. Thus, I begun to investigate the proportion between individual and common, in other words, the object of my investigation was the interaction between human and environment. I used analog photography partly because it more convenient for me, and partly because it offers me the unexpected result. Also it offers the opportunity not to change the result during the process of making picture and thus I guess, the result is more vivificated, in other words, it more truly. Also such method restricted the opportunity to change the obtained result after photo-session. Formally, the body of my work consists of two pictures — one is portrait of the person and other — is the portrait of its environment and these two frames are placed side by side on one film. On the one hand, it is completely staged photography, because it performed in the genre of staged portrait of friends or strangers stopped on the street, and on the other – it is unpredictable as any photography. In fact, each single scan is diptych with two neighbor frames from one film one of which is portrait of person in the environment, and the second – the environment without the person. This is my humble attempt to study man’s place in the world around him, man’s place with him or without. What is differing in location depending of human presence, what changes happen in a person? Here are the questions of interaction of living and nonliving, human and space, which I try to give an answer.

(by Kostya Smolyaninov)


Lviv, Ukraine – May 2013. Painter Lidia Trynozhenko

Lviv, Ukraine – April 2014. My friends Janka and Rimma

Lviv, Ukraine – August 2014. Painter Yaroslav Futimsky

Lviv, Ukraine – August 2014. Wife of my friend

Lviv, Ukraine – April 2013. Unknown model

Lviv, Ukraine – March 2014. Photographer Tasia Rainyk

Lviv, Ukraine – May 2015. Architektor Mariana Tomyn

Lviv, Ukraine – April 2013. Performer Volodymyr Topiy

Lviv, Ukraine – May 2015. My son Ivan

June 2016. Curators Lisa German and Maria Lanko.

Augustl 2014. Darth Vader

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