Just with one month delay here are some pictures of preparations for my exposition. It was quite fruitful and educational experience. Since it was my first exhibition in France, I was a bit intimidated with France's gastronomic reputation and overall fanciness, so here is a little list of mistakes :-) :
1. I spent too much money on wine. I listened to an advice to serve a fairly good wine of the region, logical since we are in Burgundy. Having not much time to investigate I bought some boxes at the boutique next door. For a half-price I'd have better wine if I bothered to ask friends (or even experts) about their everyday preferences from the supermarket wines.
2. Same with food. Again following some advice, I ordered fancy pastry from a local bakery, which cost me a leg. At last minute, being worried that it won't be enough, I bought some deep frozen stuff, which at the end was pretty good for a fraction of money spent on fancy cheese puffs. Conclusion? It should be about art, not food!
3. Since it was my first photo exposition I made a major mistake of not asking friends who modeled for me to sign a model release. I know, I know, everybody knows :-). Well, I didn't and again, it cost me a (second) leg :-). But it is called experience, you know. So I am now wise and knowledgeable. :-)
4. The forth mistake (the order is completely hazardous) is that I did not do a proper communication. I did have a good friend who was responsible for the distribution of 300 invitations, and he did a good job - Thank you Franck!
Although I did not contact any media beforehand. Miss procrastination simply didn't have time to do so.
First little notes started to appear in the papers few days after the vernissage, which helped to attract more visitors the following week.
Last week-end in Switzerland (I am not there often now, which is a different story) was extremely productive, I for a chance to photograph seven young ladies. Overwhelmed with the amount of pictures to sort out, I am meanwhile posting these two beautiful sisters Masha& Nastya.
This weekend I absolutely unexpectedly found myself in Vichy, France. AND to my great delight I learned that there is a grandiose art events going on in this charming town - 12 different photographers share 12 different perspectives on portrait.
Expositions were taking place all over the city, but we had very little time, so we went to the riverside where portraits of Elliott Erwitt were exposed at the promenade.
Many of Eliotts' photographs are known to us since decades and need no introduction. What I didn't know though is that the photographer, "who got the best out of Castro, Kerouac, and Monroe", was a son of Russian immigrants and was born in France.
Dogs have a special place in Erwitts work.
On our way back to a carI saw this dog and his young owner. First they caught my attention since they both were dressed in black and white. But afterwards, already at home, I thought that the dog looks like Albert Einstein in the famous photo sticking his tongue at the world. :-)
And I bit of color at the end from the castle of Busset, near Vichy….
It happened again. First, days are passing by unhurriedly like a slow river and then - all of a sudden - an avalanche of emotions and events come over you; there must be some kind of a physical law about it…
Completely surprising evening yesterday in a company of John Buttrick. John performed at the Zurich's Jecklin Musikhaus - Mozart, Brahms, and Schubert - the atmosphere was intimate and magic. Then more magic happened when I found myself drinking wine in a company of this brilliant person and his friends. Inspiring music, inspiring people.
And inspiring movies. "Words and pictures" is the best film I have seen in months (even that it got poor critics), and no, not because it was Clive Owen who played a leading role of an English teacher with a serious alcohol problem. Although to be honest, Clive Owen can just lie on a sofa for an hour and a half I ll still watch :-). Juliette Binoche was brilliant too playing an artist suffering from a severe rheumatoid arthritis.
And books. I came across several good books lately. It has been ages since I read fiction in Russian, and for Christmas I got a novel by Lyudmila Ulitskaya, a successful Russian author and activist.
"A book can be an inspiration or a murder weapon. Ulitskaya is fascinated by these transformations, but even more so by the peculiar trajectories that create fate—the travels of a person, a picture, a book. If there is a strange journey to be traced, she cannot resist the retelling." ( The New Yorker)
I am reading her novel “Daniel Stein, Interpreter,” based on the life of Oswald Rufeisen, Holocaust survivor turned Carmelite monk. This book is a journey in time and space, the plot takes you from Belorussian woods, occupied by fascists in the 1940s, to Palestine in the 60es and America of the 80s. Each page is punctured with reflections on politics and religion, and destiny.
So this is what I wanted to share with you before the slow river of boredom takes over me again. Until the next tsunami.
The day was rainy yesterday, but just an hour before the sunset clouds cleared up and light was just perfect for a portrait photo session with Elena, who bravely run with me up the hill to Baden's castle ruins to catch that perfect moment. We were deliberately out of breath, but you wouldn't notice, would you? :-)
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
A fascinating ability of Swiss people to create a festive mood "out of nothing". Bern, the capital of Switzerland (normally a quiet little town) had an unusual flair this morning as I approached the parliament building: streets were full of confetti and laughing people, drinking hot wine and biting into onion pies and onion sausages.
The Zibelemärit (Bernese German dialect; English: Onion market) was full on already, first stands open as early as 4 in the morning. It is every forth Monday of November that main city's main square dresses up in colorful onion tresses and onion wreaths for the annual onion fair.
"Historical research indicates that the Zibelemärit originated in the 1850s with marmettes, farmer's wives from around Murten, coming to Berne at around St. Martin's Day to sell their produce. However, a persistent local legend holds that the Zibelemärit is a much older festivity. According to this legend, the Bernese awarded the people from the nearby city of Fribourg the right to sell onions in the city in reward for their aid after a fire destroyed much of Berne in 1405."*
So I took a few photos of that beautiful Monday morning, soon this very square will become a cosy skating ring, with music and hot chocolate but let's enjoy the last autumn sparkles.
Finally I laid my hands on recent photos from the beautiful Orta lake where I have become an accidental wedding guest. It was my first Italian wedding and I loved it! And I love Italians for their laid-back attitude: no-one paid attention to a tourist crawling on the floor with a camera between the guests.
The ceremony in the church took forever and the invitees outside started to melt slowly and pass another round of refreshing sparkling wine. Worst of all - nobody was taking their pictures; the photographer was inside the cathedral, trapped with the bride and groom. So after a certain round of prosecco I became courageous enough to pull out my new (yey!) camera. Here is a few impressions of that special afternoon…
I am going for two week holidays… again! :-) Home, sweet home this time, September in Tajikistan is my favorite time of the year and it's my moms' birthday in a few days. But at the moment I am sitting in Moscow's Domodedovo airport - five hours of waiting ahead of me. No problem at all, since I have two nice reads in my handbag.
Ok, maybe it's not an ideal title for an airplane read, but somehow this book caught my attention at the airport bookshop. Here is the book's description: "Jonathan Tropper's funny, touching family story about a man named Silver who has begun to accept that his life isn't going to turn out as he expected.
So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair the relationship with his daughter, become a better man, and live in the moment - even if that moment isn't destined to last very long".
The second read is something completely different. It is a poetry book by my friend Marina Zamorina, first samples have finally arrived and got my well deserved copy, since I did Marina's cover photo :-).
Marina has a gift of seeing poetry in everyday objects; she transports reader into her world - real at one moment, imaginary the next. "Un certain hiver" is a glimpse into a woman's soul, sometimes melancholic, other times ecstatic and always inexplicable…
Well, well, September is showing itself from the better side, the sun has finally come back from long vacation. Taking advantage of a good weather I asked my friend Marina to model for my "Summertime sadness" photo session. Armed with butterflies and paperer boats we met on the Lausanne promenade near the Olympic Museum. Here are some results of the two hour fun.