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Photography (MA)

Svetlana Talanova

Svetlana Talanova (b. 1985) is a Belarusian artist based in London. Her practice centres on camera-less photography. Working in complete darkness, she manipulates photosensitive paper, light and time. Talanova explores the organic nature of photography, the potential of the human senses and our interaction with the environment. Her work explores the boundaries of photography and questions prevailing values and hierarchies in society today.

Shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021, her work has been exhibited in the UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and South Korea. Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions, such as #social, CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea (2021); The Makeable Mind, Noorderlicht International Fotofestival, Netherlands (2021); 36th Annual Open Exhibition, Southwark Park Galleries, London (2021); Festival Pil’Ours, France (2019 & 2020); and A Day in Your Life Photographic Prize, Saatchi Gallery, London (2019).

She has been commissioned by Westfield London (Future Fashion, 2021), nominated for the Fine Art Photography Awards (2021 & 2020) and was selected as a finalist in the Food Photographer of the Year Awards (2020). Talanova was shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society Postgraduate Bursary (2020) and received Honorable Mention at the International Photography Awards (2020). 

We are increasingly becoming a disembodied species. I am interested in restoring our natural connection to the world through art. My work explores sensory perception, the role of materiality in photography and how the photograph can retain its status as a physical object. 

My practice consists of camera-less photography, created by manipulating photosensitive paper, light and time. Challenging the preconception that the camera photographs the world that already exists, I decided to remove the camera from the process. The darkroom becomes my camera. I step inside and become part of the mechanism. I work in complete darkness, when some senses are muted and others are intensified. Trading my visual senses for the physical, I investigate the very edges of perception. 

My work responds to the present environment: a world of lockdowns, distancing and limited movement. Restricted connections to people led me to find a closer relationship with the natural world. My work reflects the urgency of this natural connection and questions whether we can live a purely urban life. My materials are fresh, alive and share patterns which are repeated in nature, in landscape, in the skin of a vegetable and in humans. There is a universality to these natural life-forms.



PhotoSynthesis XII — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 10 x 12 inch (24.4 x 30.5 cm)
PhotoSynthesis XV — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis XVII — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis XXIII — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis XX — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis XVIII — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)

PhotoSynthesis (2021) explores the organic nature of photography and of the world. Produced in the darkroom without a camera, using translucent natural materials, the work continues the tradition of art and nature. Speaking to the conditions of being, this work is a physical embodiment of the natural world and of light.

Medium:

Unique chromogenic print

Size:

12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis X — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis VII — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis V — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis III — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 8 x 10 inch ( 20 x 25 cm)
PhotoSynthesis XI — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis IV — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis IX — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
PhotoSynthesis VIII — Unique chromogenic print, 2021, 12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)

PhotoSynthesis considers the importance of reconnecting with nature in a world where such external interactions have been constrained. It considers the essential yet fragile nature of the organic world.


Medium:

Unique chromogenic print

Size:

12 x 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm)
The Passage of Time IX — C-type print, 2021, 127 x 170 cm. Edition of 1 + 1AP.

My work connects with the idea of multidimensionality: not quite flat, yet not quite 3D, not quite fixed in time but not quite moving either. 

My research embraces Western and Eastern philosophy as well as Abstract Expressionism, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy as well as practical experimentation and the “Slow Living” movement. Slowness is a counterpoint to the prevailing world view that life inevitably moves ever quicker. My work celebrates slowness and even meditates on it. I slow down time dramatically in the process of making a print, allowing the image to mature itself and develop. 

Though the use of abstraction I explore how photography can represent the unseen, and in turn to explore what we see and don’t see. I am concerned with the representation of meaning within the photograph and how abstraction can tell a story. 


Medium:

C-type Print

Size:

127 x 170 cm
The Passage of Time XI — C-type Print, 2021, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP

Medium:

C-type print

Size:

127 x 170 cm
The Passage of Time VII — C-type print, 2020, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP
The Passage of Time X — C-type print, 2021, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP
The Passage of Time II — C-type print, 2020, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP
The Passage of Time VIII — C-type print, 2020, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP

Medium:

C-type print

Size:

127 x 170 cm
Installation View
Installation View
Installation View
The Passage of Time V — C-type print, 2020, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1AP



Medium:

C-type print

Size:

127 x 170 cm
The Passage of Time I — C-type print, 2020, 127 x 170 cm, Edition of 1 + 1 AP.

I am interested in what happens when multiple layers of different experiences superpose on top of each other – how one experience may disappear as another emerges. I see this as reflective of our identities, which evolve with time and place and experience. Through layering multiple experiences that occur in multiple times and speeds on top of one another in a way that they sometimes contradict each other, I intend to reveal hidden structures of the world, exploring and revealing this huge range of coexistences.

The work reveals traces of its lived experience, machinery and the artist’s hand, questioning the boundaries of photography, its intersection with painting and sculpture and the use of abstraction to access the subconscious. 


Medium:

C-type print

Size:

127 x 170 cm