Tuesday, December 3, 2013


My project called MARRIAGE Inc.  It is a self-published photo book on Blurb.com that I will use as a catalog for a future exhibition(s).

I would like to propose an exhibition "I Know You Will" for series of my photographs that depict the notion of marriage in contemporary society, which closely correlates with consumption.   I work with Nikon D700 and raw digital negatives so that I can customize size and quality of my work to the standards of the specific exhibition.  Yet, my preference to have 15 to 20 borderless prints uniformly sized in white frame.  Although my photographs are sequenced they do not need to be in the same continuous space.

This series of my photographs is my exploration of the intimate relationship in contemporary world.  My aspiration is to depict the complexity of basic human longing for romanticized relationship, which is overwhelmed by the commodities of the contemporary world.  Although my photographs are not staged, the locations of my photo-shoots are carefully thought out.  For instance,  I intentionally choose Tiffany store as a universal language/symbol for a romantic engaging relationship.  I alienated the space between lens and background by placing my children and random people.  The ambiguity of the composition reflects the ambiguity of the relationship that I am exploring.

“Intimate relationships have existed since the beginning of humankind. At first, marriage was seen as the union of two individuals who accumulated wealth. They would pass this wealth onto the next generation, which then continued the cycle. In this view, marriage was seen as a kind of business deal. However, in western society marriage has since evolved into a relationship based on romantic love, rather than on wealth and socioeconomic status. Two individuals get married as proof of their lifelong commitment to each other. Nevertheless, the desire to accumulate wealth still exists. In general, our society equates economic wealth to power and status. This dichotomy questions our view of marriage: is it based on the desire for financial success, romance, or possibly both?  Many modern-day relationships begin with romantic love, lead into a legal union, and ultimately evolve into a pursuit of financial performance and the accumulation of material possessions.  However, our contemporary society believes that these mutually exclusive experiences can coexist”.   by Sonia Sedova
Artist Statement:

Roberta Ella, born 1972, USSR
In her photographs, Roberta attempts to point out the mutual exclusivity, or conversely the compatibility, of romance and the quest for wealth. She likes to work with her children as they explore this idea together. Roberta photographs her children not in the typical sense of family snapshots, but rather from a distance. Because of this, the photographs each take their own paths, as her children are not intentionally posing for the pictures. She is interested in simply providing a framework of reference for the children as well as the viewer. Her intent is to have her children influence the photograph just as much as the photographer.

Exhibition Proposal to:

85 Hamilton Street
corner New Jersey Railroad Avenue
Newark, NJ 07105

Attn: Heather Hakimzadeh, Associated Curator
2200 Park Avenue,
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Also looking for a free public space in Newark, NJ for a very short duration to curate group exhibition with another artist who works in 3D. 

My project was based on research of the following material:

            Consuming the Romantic Utopia, by Eva Illouz

      Will You Marry Me? Spectacle and Consumption in the Ritual of Marriage             Proposals,  by Phillip Vannini Department of Sociology University of Victoria

Inspired by the following artists:

            Carry Levy “51 Months”
            Sally Mann “Immediate Family”
            Doris Cacoilo artist/curator/educator

Text by Sonia Sedova

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