Tatiana Gulenkina: The States Project: District of Columbia
Tatiana Gulenkina is someone who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting in person, though we plan to remedy that very soon! We have crossed paths virtually several times, both being awarded artist fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and been featured in a few shows together. Her bodies of work are a varied and a gorgeous marriage of concept and process. It was very difficult for me to select which body of work to feature here, but in the end, her moody abstractions on melting ice that brings to mind Mark Rothko on an acid trip won the day. She is clearly in a phase of her growth where her creativity is exploding and I look forward to following her creative path.
Tatiana is a Russian-born photographer and visual artist based in Washington, DC. She employs both digital technology and traditional darkroom equipment, as well as video and mixed media. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2011, and since then her work was featured in the British Journal of Photography, Harper’s Magazine, The Week, Wired, Juxtapoz Magazine, The Calvert Journal, Musée Magazine, The Photo Review, Tank Magazine, and other publications, as well as exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2014, she was named one of the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers by Photo Boîte Agency and 30 Photographers Under 30 to Watch by Complex Magazine. In 2015 and 2016, she was awarded individual artist fellowship from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Six Hours (2015) is a series of multiple- and long-exposure photographs of slowly melting bodies of ice that explore the intersection of political and poetic, collective and personal. Ironically, in our constantly changing world, we often ignore the change, no matter if it’s happening in our bodies or in the environment around us. Whether viewed as meditations on color and shape or a climate change statement, these images depict the shifts that often go unnoticed.
Scientifically, the process of fast ice melting can be explained by a few chain reactions. One is darkening of the color which makes the ice sheet to attract more sunlight and melt at increasing rate. The other is the fact that as it melts, the elevation lowers, and the lower elevation often comes with warmer temperatures.
Working on this project, I was particularly inspired by historic Japanese landscape paintings called “mountains and water”, their simplicity and unique sense of perspective. Other Japanese art forms, such as haiku and Noh theater are also trying to grasp the essence of things with minimum means. The job of the artist in this case mostly consists of being an observer and gaining intuitive understanding of the subject.
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Jared Soares: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 12th, 2016
Tatiana Gulenkina: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 11th, 2016
Louie Palu: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 10th, 2016
Eman Mohammed: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 9th, 2016
Stephen Crowley: The States Project: District of ColumbiaNovember 8th, 2016