“Dolls’ House”, 2018-2019
Being an immigrant myself, I have often thought about the concept of “home” and belonging. What exactly gives us the sense of home, and how moving from country to country can affect it. For years I have been struggling with the feeling of being misplaced, until I finally learned to feel home wherever I go. I learned to create the sense of “home” within myself, and therefore wherever I go - my home is with me.
About a year ago in Berlin, I met a wonderful family of immigrants from Russia, whose home made me think again about this concept. Elya – the mother of 4 children and a ceramic artist - lived in many countries like myself, however for her home is not related to a specific place. Regardless of where she lives, she creates her own microcosmos – her home is a universe on its own that exists beyond any culture or country, and everyone who enters it immediately becomes part of its enchantment.
When I first entered this home, it seemed as though I have stepped into a different realm – a realm of magic and fairytales, where light and darkness are merging into one, where reality and fantasy are not separated one from the other, where dolls appear to be as alive as the people. Their home is filled with a kind of mystery and comfort at the same time; it beckons you and envelopes you with its warmth and strangeness making it nearly impossible to leave. Each character inhabiting this home lives their own separate life, full of secrets, unspoken truths and, at times, psychological turmoil, but at the same time they are all wonderfully united by this enchanting atmosphere.
As an artist-photographer I have been focusing on the subject of relationships and family dynamics for many years, through various long-term projects. In “Dolls’ House” the subject of family dynamics and relationships is also big part of the project, however here the home itself also plays an important role. The two sisters Lia and Lucia – who are the youngest children in the family became the main protagonists in my story. Through their playful relationship and their connection to the home where they live I aim to emphasize the importance of home’s atmosphere for the psychological development of a person and for his/her relationships with others as well as with the outer world.