Tatiana Gulenkina
Things Merging and Falling Apart
This body of work consists of unique type C contact prints (photograms or rayograms) created in a color darkroom using long exposures.

My interest in cameraless photography came from a desire to capture not a decisive moment, but a time lapse, a movement or transformation of fragile organic objects caught on a light-sensitive surface. One of my inspirations was to watch the making of precious sand mandalas that take days of intense labor and, once completed, are destroyed without any regrets as a symbol of impermanence. Essentially, even the sharpest, most beautifully composed glossy image fails to represent reality because it’s trying to hold on to something that’s impossible to grasp.

I started off working with recognizable objects that after long darkroom manipulations often would turn out looking completely abstract yet more appealing to me; physically acting on paper surface, they became tangible imprints of ephemeral emotional states. At some point, I realized that it’s more of a collaboration between me and my subjects since they became active participants in this process. Instead of imitating the illumination and depicting formal qualities, these images challenge the expectations and capture the light itself; they bring viewers’ attention to the performative nature of creative process and elaborate on chance effects and intuitive states of being.