Russian-American artist and photographer Maria Degtiarenko makes work that investigates global identity, memory, and storytelling, exploring visually how man-made environments, ideas, and societies are intertwined. Her themes range widely, including urban design, the tourism industry, and nature as healer.
Her work is greatly inspired by the surrealist movement and the writings of Italo Calvino and is currently manifesting as an illustration of the writer’s novella, Invisible Cities. The dreamlike nostalgia effect is created using in-camera multiple exposure techniques on 35mm analog film with her 1977 Mamiya camera, fomenting a progression of images and stories that hover between layered still photography and the frame-by-frame progression of early moving pictures. The film is developed, scanned, and minimally edited to present the imperfections of the multiple exposures as authentically as possible in a digital format. At present, the majority of these photographs exist here at degtiarenko.com as scrollable stories (Cities and Memory, Cities and Desire, etc.), but the goal is to eventually bring them all into the physical realm in a manner reminiscent of the Appalachian folk art form: the Crankie.
She has exhibited her work in the US and at the Italian La Guarimba Film Festival in collaboration with Amor Vacui Architecture Studio, has been featured in Defend New Orleans, and has collaborated with Bayou Magazine.
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