Yulia Spiridonova – Neither You Nor I

Double denial – of self and of other – leaves nothing but empty space. There is no place for feelings (love, compassion, sympa- thy), gestures (carving the temper), or the will to act. Only a refusal. The models in these photographs are alone (You and Me – do not form Us). Their lack of will, a byproduct of the photographic process, is a result of subordination before the photographer. In each case, the only evidence of free will is expressed in vain attempts to escape, to avoid the camera. And when there are two bodies in the frame, they are just two bodies; neither models, nor humans. And they play out a drama – not a drama of passion, but – of violence.

All photos of Yulia Spiridonova are self-portraits. The author’s cruelty is ruthless when her eye is trained on herself. Hers is a double refusal: of herself, of her own body. And of love: of the presence of other inside this same body.

curated by Kirill Adibekov.