Little Fictions


The exhibition is unusual in that the heroes of the photographs are dolls. In order to accurately express the character of the little characters, photographers work with light, foreshortening, sharpness and other technical tricks. If you compare photographs of people to dramatic theater, the works at the exhibition are closer to puppet theater. But unlike theater, in photography the narrative is concentrated in a single image.

Many outstanding photographers of the twentieth century were passionate about taking pictures of the puppet world. There are reasons for that. A doll is malleable, it can be transformed in a way that you can't change a living person. As a consequence, the photographer has a lot more freedom. When shooting a doll, the photographer creates an artistic image without thinking about the real facts. But that doesn't mean that the invented characters and plots have nothing to do with life. On the contrary, in the language of allegory, the artist speaks about human beings, about the relationship between men and women, about freedom and time.


Grace Weston (USA) Short Stories, Tall Tales




Grace Weston. Free to Go. From the series Short Stories, Tall Tales


I have a fascination with the psychological landscape. Through my photographs of my constructed staged vignettes I strive to undertake the dilemmas and fears that at first seem personal, yet resonate on a universal level. Child-like fantasy scenes are punctuated with anxieties common to adulthood: disaster looms on the horizon, a date takes a bad turn, and existential questions are diluted in a glass of ice. I frequently combine vivid color and humor with psychological tension as a mechanism to help us laugh at ourselves, and at our futile but understandable desire to control our world.

Certainly, my constructed scenarios are meant to entertain, but they are also drawn from my ruminations on the big questions pondered by humankind from the beginning: Why am I here? Who is in charge? How do I navigate? Am I alone? My artistic expression, disguised in humor, imagination and vivid color, strives to lure the viewer into considering these issues. I have found that expressing the darker side of human nature in this way allows others to smile while reflecting on the deeper aspects of that which we keep within. It helps us recognize that we are not alone; in fact we share these concerns.

My point of view and approach come out of a childhood spent in relative isolation. I entertained myself by making little dioramas with toys and found or constructed objects in a corner of my bedroom to view and rearrange for weeks at a time. I survived and flourished inside a private reality of my own creation that served as great consolation in a world where I had no control. Intense introspection balanced with the coping mechanism of humor developed my sensibilities. I now realize I have come back to where I started, and at the same time, to where I’ve never been. It is through my little fictions I most enjoy taking a stab at truth. (Grace Weston)

Based in Portland, Oregon, Grace has gained international recognition for her unique style of staged narrative photography. Her award-winning artwork has been shown in numerous exhibitions and publications, and is held in many public and private collections. Grace has also been commissioned to create work in the editorial world for magazines, book covers, CDs and posters.


Grace Weston.Torn Between Two Lovers. From the series Short Stories, Tall Tales


Irina Verhgradskaya (Russia) My dear old people





I have drawn well since childhood and really wanted to be a fashion designer or a painter. I was good at miniature works, but I was not sure if I could paint on big easels. So I decided to connect my life with books. I started as a clerk in a bookstore and eventually became head of the store.

My love of books helped me a lot in my hobby as well. I read a lot, studied the history of fashion. I've been making dolls since I was a child, but then I forgot about it for a long time. I remembered it only in the 1980s, when I had children. Then I started making dolls again, first for children and then for myself. I work with different themes, both literary characters and historical ones. So my collection has grown to 1620 works.

The costumes are important to me. I try to dress the dolls according to a certain historical period. Of course, except for the smallest details, which are quite difficult to make. I specially collect different pieces of fabric at home, select them like a fashion historian, so that they are recognizable and realistic.

I didn't have grandmothers, so the images of the dolls do not connect to childhood memories, as many people do. It's just that when I walk down the street, I involuntarily look at the faces of passersby. When I meet a grandmother in the street, I look her over, then I try to turn around imperceptibly and look after her, to wish her something good mentally, and then I reflect my impressions in my work.

My work is sad only at first glance. When we are young, we need a lot, we constantly make plans we have a lot of ambition. But old people need very little. If the sun shines, they are already happy. And I try to emphasize these moments that they are not in such a bad situation. (Irina Verhgradskaya)




Igor Kultyshkin (Russia) Tales for Vanka





These are my son Ivan's toys. And my journey to the jungle or the Ark, where every creature is a match, and all live in peace. These are the stories I tell my son when I come home from work and he's long asleep. In the morning, everyone is going to kindergarten or work, and I don't see him again. When he grows up, then he will see the fairy tales made for him. And while his little and likes to play with cars, the animals lie in boxes. He only notices them when he sees me, and I lay down with them. (Igor Kultyshkin)

Igor Kultyshkin is a member of the Russian Union of Art Photographers, and has participated in numerous photographic exhibitions and festivals: "Prints" (Petrozavodsk, 2003), "Autumn Photomarathon" (St. Petersburg, 2004), "Pandus" (Moscow, 2008), Pingyao International Festival of Photography (China, 2009), PhotoVisa (Krasnodar, 2013 and 2015), etc. His works are stored in Russian and foreign collections: the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Personal exhibitions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rome.


Robo Kočan (Slovakia) From the Other Side


Robo Kočan (Slovakia) Audience. From the series From the Other Side


Central Europe is full of mysteries and secrets. But they are not only in the past. Sorcerers did not cease to exist in the Middle Ages, alchemists live amongst us. They became artists.

The young photographer Robo Kocan is a light-hearted poet, ethereal, hardly touching complicated matters and hardly coming into contact with the hidden meanings revealed by them. A turn in the creativity of Kocan became his recourse to the stories, myths and legends. In photography he found the form for the embodiment of the spirits of the dead, which roam in the forests, for the dances of the fairies and elves, water and mountain spirits. It is as if he became a child once again. And acquired a host of followers amongst those same sophisticated admirers of photography and philosophy, people, accustomed to the complicated form of expression, to deep self-contemplation and to the destructive experiments in the separation of one’s own ego from world harmony, cried like children, sighed, like school children in love, looking at the glow-worms in the forest and above the waters, which filled the new photographs of Kocan. It was a triumph. It was the declared triumph of the unique author’s style, the new series became, in fact, the triumph of the archaic over the individual. It was the victory of the artist over himself, the kneeling before that which is more ancient and greater than the pride of a single contemporary artist.

Beyond the borders of Slovakia Kocan was the most bright representative of Slovak photography of the 1990s, it was namely his non-narrative, but visual world, embodied by legends that turned out to be natural for this culture, rich in traditions. Kocan began to be perceived as contemporary visual poetry, preserving the kinship and observing the similarities with its primitive archaic ancestors. It seemed that Kocan was the first to put his name as an artist in the long tradition of painters of spirits (amongst which are icon painters and illuminators), who had been creating for centuries. But, if one thinks about it, before Kocan there was no photographic tradition of the fairytale non-narrative representation of archaic images. But he did not act as a pioneer, as a loud progenitor of tradition, his photographs existed, and he, smiling modestly, went out into the shadow, dissolving into the air, as if it was that very tradition. (Irina Chmyreva)

Robo Kochan was born in Poprad in 1968, studied at the Košice Art School, the Higher Art Institute in Bratislava (Photography Department), the University of Nottingham (UK) and the National School of Fine Arts in Dijon (France). Kochan has had over fifty solo exhibitions; his work has participated in many international photographic projects. His works are exhibited in art museums in the United States and Europe. Robo Kochan teaches photography in Slovakia and abroad.



  Photos of the exhibition © Ekaterina Popova:




Центр фотографии "Март". Екатеринбург. 8 Марта, 1

Время работы: 11.00 - 22.00 без выходных. Цена билета