Elena Lyakir – Brooklyn, NY – http://www.elenalyakir.com
I believe that portraits question the ethics of seeing, asking what we have the right to observe.
In the Portraits series, captive creatures are photographed as if posing for the camera. They cannot object to the predatory nature of photography, and they do not understand the ways in which they are being perceived by the human eye.
To photograph is to appropriate the thing being photographed, putting oneself in a position of power. To take a portrait of someone is to see them in a way they have never seen themselves, turning subjects into objects. As an observer, one agrees to participate in the subject’s vulnerability, its mortality. Portraiture captures the innocence of life moving towards its own destruction. The subjects being photographed open themselves to interpretation reminding us that self-revelation is a continuous process.
Through my work I attempt to reveal the intricacies of diaspora. I crave to find beauty in the melancholy of longing. This perpetual pursuit makes me a kind of nomad, an individual traveling to a place of euphoric revelation and balance, a place to call home.
I am interested in the relationship between photography and other disciplines. Using elements of nature as my primary subject, I push the limits of the photographic medium to suggest charcoal drawings and painterly abstractions.
Elana Tenner – Chicago, IL – http://www.elanabethtenner.com