JENIA FRIDLYAND (New York NY, USA)
Jenia Fridlyand (b. Moscow, 1975) studied photography at Centre Iris and Université Paris VIII, and holds an MFA from the University of Hartford’s International Limited-Residency program. Fridlyand’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and her self-published book was shortlisted for the Paris Photo – Aperture First Photobook Award 2017. She currently lives in New York City, where she teaches middle school photography and continues to work on long term projects.
When I visited Cuba for the first time several years ago, I was overcome by an uncanny sense of nostalgia: everything looked, smelled, and felt different, yet something constantly caused me to recollect sensations of my childhood in another country which also imagined itself on its way to utopia. In 2017, I began traveling to Cuba with my view camera, hoping to reveal that hidden trigger.
The island’s political history makes it a country very different from the others in the region, just as its geography uniquely flavors its communism. However, that dream is only one of many which color and mold Cuban visual landscape.
Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
My commitment to the analogue process is an intuitive decision rather than a logical one. Not just photographing on film, but also developing it myself and making silver gelatin prints provides a continuity of physical connection to the work, which seems essential to uncovering what the photographs can tell me.