Alexandra Demenkova
at Cap-Chat


Looking for a Soulmate

Rest area | 7 Rue Notre-Dame Est (Route 132) | Cap-Chat

Alexandra Demenkova, Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Jerusalem, Israel |

Born in Leningrad Region, USSR, in 1980, Alexandra Demenkova currently lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Jerusalem, Israel.

She studied photography at the Faculty of Photojournalism in Saint Petersburg. Since 2005 she has held a number of solo exhibitions in Russia and Europe and has participated in international photography festivals and shows. She has been invited as artist-in-residence by different institutions, among them the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Alexandra Demenkova has given artist talks at different venues in Russia, Europe and the USA. She has won the grand prize in both Saint Petersburg’s Northern Palmyra Contest (2004) and the city’s Photojournalist of the Year competition (2006). At the moment she is working on personal long-term projects that bring her mostly to remote rural areas in Russia and abroad. Her work-in-progress includes a project about women.


Looking for a Soulmate

The exhibition consists of photographs taken in different parts of Russia (the Tver, Arkhangelsk, Kursk, Novosibirsk and Pskov regions) between 2007 and 2010. The subjects are villagers at the very bottom of Russian social life whose newfound freedom, when the system of traditional values in their country collapsed, did little more than speed them into the abyss, their social relations now a prison for them. Nonetheless, their desire to breach the boundaries of the ordinary is beautiful. The artist was charmed by their spirit, daring and boldness. Her subjects live far from all the benefits, promises and illusions of civilization, do menial jobs or have no job at all, and often find consolation in alcohol. They embody vanishing ways of embracing life, enjoy a strong connection with nature, and have an inclination to philosophy, poetry and an ironical perception of themselves and reality. A responsive viewer will see not only darkness but also a subtle beauty in this work.

(Based on an interview between Svetlana Galanova and Alexandra Demenkova)