BALLERINA AND FLOWERS
A flower is a symbol of perfect beauty, purity, youth, and fragile brevity.
Romantic tradition. Mimesis.
Womanhood represents itself in a moment, a swift gesture. What lasts longer — a flower’s angle or a gesture of a ballerina? The culture of humanity is random reproduction of meaningful events. Nature creates an impulse and inspiration, an ideal, though it has to be held fixed within the culture.
Comparing women to flowers is one of the traditional motives in European as well as Asian culture. In Yulia Artemyeva’s photo project this likeness is made absolute with the help of visual mimesis, almost identical imitation of a flower’s shape through a gesture.
Choosing a ballerina to be the centerpiece of this shooting is metaphysical: womanhood as an ideal can be captured only by imagination or in its artistic representation. At the same time, the conceptual field of womanhood is huge and complicated. The image of a dancer may be interpreted as a manifestation of a better world, close to a fairy or a genius, or it can be eroticized and lowered. However, a consistent iconic application of both traditional images brings photography closer to language, a hieroglyphic script where each consecutive symbol clarifies the previous one. The same way each pair of photos should be seen as an integrated message where the associations for the flower in this visual micro-imagery cut off or clarify part of the meanings which emerge in the viewer’s perception in connection with each image of a ballerina: her posture, gestures, the tones of the photo etc.
Womanhood breaks through from the ideal world into the real world through a gesture, a word, or a sign. And if a camera captures a gesture of the priestess-artist almost passively, the choice of angle for capturing the beauty of nature so that it becomes an artefact requires a lot of heuristic effort on the part of the photo artist. A ballerina’s gesture, so swift in reality, becomes as long-lasting as a flower’s angle, which could have been left unnoticed without the attention of a photo camera.