May 22, 2019
Elvira is a Russian photographer who creates fascinating visual narratives that lean towards the dark and the uncanny. In her series "Outland", Elvira explores through Black and White imagery concepts such as solitude, memory and the inexplicable. In this collection of images we can perceive an inquisitive spirit looking for answers with a great capacity to isolate different emotions.
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
EK - I am originally from Moscow, Russia. When I was 18 I came to Berlin to study languages (English and French). I later studied American Studies with the focus on film, and then photography. Currently, I am working on my first experimental short film (super 8 film) and on my first photo book.
am - How did you start in photography?
EK - I have always been interested in arts and film. Yet it was not until 2014 when I decided to seriously focus myself on visual arts. I remember when I bought my first digital SLR camera. I wanted to experiment. After a couple of months I applied to a photography school in Berlin and, to my big surprise, I was accepted. Since 2017 I only shoot on film. I believe that shooting analog made me more attentive and reflective of what I am photographing - in visual terms.
am - What is “Outland” about?
EK - 'Outland' is a series that explores the concept of the uncanny and its visual construction. In fact, it is about many things: darkness, memories, solitude as well as the otherworldly. Honestly speaking, I hardly ever think about a specific narrative behind my photography. I rather concentrate on taking pictures than on the story behind them. For me, a narrative evolves at the very end, when lots of photos have been taken.
am - What were you most interested in capturing with these images?
EK - I didn't have a specific goal while working on this series. For me, it was and it is rather a study, an experiment that studies the emotions that the viewer can get from looking at the pictures. I often ask my family, friends and colleagues about what they see, and I always get an interesting feedback. I also enjoy the process of photographing and especially the post-production. It is amazing how a picture's message seems to change dramatically when the image is made darker or less saturated. I like to create a special, unsettling atmosphere.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
EK - My favourite photographers are Issei Suda, Eikoh Hosoe and Ikko Narahara.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
EK - I have a lot of them. I like experimental films like 'The Cage' by Shūji Terayama and 'Living' by Frans Zwartjes. I am also a fan of Andrzej Żuławski and his 'Posession'.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
EK - I am a big fan of Japanese photography. My favourite photo book is probably 'Botanical Planetarium' by Gashō Yamamura.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
EK - Thank you very much for the feature in your beautiful magazine.
All images © Elvira Kolerova