Ksenia Yablonskaya

Ksenia Yablonskaya (born Minsk). studied at Rodchenko Art School (Moscow) (workshop of Igor Mukhin). Her artistic practice is based on documentary and conceptual photography. Lives and works in Moscow.

Publication: Paris-Normandie, La Dame de Pique, Afisha, Del ‘arte Magazine, The Moscow Times, Oest-France, Le Courrier, Gare de I Est.

Ksenia Yablonskaya

Group exhibitions:

  • 2020 – “More!” Kerka Gallery. Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
  • 2020 – “FEAR”. Rodchenko Art School. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2020 – “Photobiennale 2020”. MAMM. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2019 – “Is it easy to be young?” Rodchenko Art School. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2019 – “Self-portrait”. Rodchenko Art School. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2018 – “SHLYGA”. Artplay Center. Moscow, Russia.

All author's works

I Am Not Leaving,
Don't Put Out
the Cigarette

The series was released as part of an exhibition dedicated to the cult of the band “Kino” and Viktor Tsoi at the Sovremennik Theatre. In post-Soviet Russia, the songs of “Kino” have become a cultural constant that unites generations; the slogan “Tsoi is alive” has not only not lost its meaning, but has become one of the most popular graffiti – the cult of the band and its lead singer has become a real cultural phenomenon. В своей серии Ксения Яблонская исследует быт и атрибуты современных поклонников “Кино”. In her series, Ksenia Yablonskaya explores the everyday lives and attributes of contemporary Kino fans. Portraits of people of different ages: those who witnessed the band and those who were born after Victor Tsoi’s death are interspersed with still life photos, depicting paraphernalia and artefacts that form the material basis of the cult: patches, newspaper clippings, cassettes and records. The original exhibit also included texts from the participants, where they talked about their relationship and connection to the band “Kino” and – each in their own way – about why Tsoi is alive.

Don't Look,
Don't Turn Away

Beauty and destruction, liberation and enslavement, seduction and fear – these opposites play an important role in shaping a woman’s psychological state. The diktat of beauty and obedience imposes strict requirements on her, literally pushing her towards destruction, forcing her to sacrifice her emotional and physical health to conform to imposed standards. A series of taboos on public discussion of women’s body problems and characteristics, as well as the ruthlessness of the mechanisms of constructing images of female sexuality in the beauty industry and popular culture, reinforce the incoherence of the state of mind; they place women in a narrow emotional corridor between desire to be desired, shamefulness and intimidation. The sexualization of vulnerability and fear literally pushes her to try on the role of victim. In “Don’t Look, Don’t Turn Away”, Ksenia Yablonskaya discusses the links between women’s fears and sexuality. With the help of photographs, she talks about the experience of sensual sensations through three channels: hearing, sight and touch, visualizing the feeling of horror through the corporeality of her characters.


In the last century, the geographical center of Moscow has shifted greatly with regard to the historical center: now the journey from the Kremlin to the New Moscow district, where, according to calculations, the geographical center of the city is now located, takes about an hour. This is a testament not only to the scale, but also to the conditions to which new residents of the capital are agreeing in search of a more prosperous life. The dynamic expansion of Moscow’s borders and colossal construction and the melancholy of sleepy residential districts and ambitions to conquer the country are motifs to which the young generation of contemporary photographers turn with unfailing interest. The series “Salaryevo. Contiguity” by Ksenia Yablonskaya explores the urban landscape of one of the city’s newest districts, grown up on the terminus of a metro line. The photographer draws attention both to the contrasts between the rustic way of life built up over generations, the ultra-modern urbanism of new developments and to the worrying environmental situation: Salaryevo has a solid domestic waste landfill, considered the biggest one in Europe. Despite reclamation, this 70-metre-high mountain continues to spew leachate that poisons all life around it.


The discouraging news and vague state rhetoric in the early stages of the pandemic made the decision to socially distance a personal and civic choice. Having assessed the situation without waiting for official government decrees, Ksenia Yablonskaya decided to voluntarily isolate herself in her apartment at Babushkinskaya metro station. Soon after this gesture, demands to restrict communication and movement around the city were announced by the Moscow mayor’s office: the isolation ceased to be a personal choice and has become universal. Yablonskaya recorded her thoughts and lifestyle throughout the quarantine period with photographs and brief diary entries. Everything that became part of the common routine is here: Zoom parties and procrastination with soap operas, grocery shopping and culinary experiments, distance learning and being fired without pay… The “Quarantine Diary” lasted 82 days, right up to the official lifting of the ban on moving around Moscow. It is a memory of a strange time that, for many, turned out to be an experiment in meeting oneself.