Sofia Tatarinova

Sofia Tatarinova (born Moscow). Graduated from MGUP, School of Photography and Multimedia. Rodchenko (class of Vladimir Kupriyanov, Ekaterina Degot and David Riff), Vadim Gushchin’s school of photography. Member of the Union of Photo Artists of Russia. It focuses on stories and scenes that would otherwise remain invisible: strange provincial wooden sculptures, silent snow sculptures, the tragic fate of widows in a northern village with painfully high male mortality rates. Her carefully composed shots are similar to documentaries, but still have an almost ceremonial silence and peace. Lives and works in Moscow and Innsbruck.

  • 2020 – Prize and residency from the city of Freistadt, Austria.
  • 2017 – Art residence at hand. Marat Gelman. Budva, Montenegro.
  • 2015 – Laureate of the “Silver Camera” competition.
  • 2012 – Glocal Rookie Award 2012. Italy.
  • 2010 – Special prize of MAMM. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2009 – Laureate of the “Silver Camera” competition.

Personal exhibitions:

  • 2019 – “Weightlessness”. Electromuseum. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2017 – “Traumwald”. Fotoforum Braunau. Braunau, Austria.
  • 2016 – “Putin on the beach”. Vorbrenner. Innsbruck, Austria.
  • 2016 – “From Russia with love”. Galerie Reinthaler. Vienna, Austria.
  • 2014 – “Udmurtia” Photobiennale; Gallery “EYE”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2012 – “The big gap”. Gallery PG Contemporary. Houston, USA.
  • 2011 – “Babes in the wood”. Anika handelt Galerie. Vienna, Austria.
  • 2009 – “Home Reading”. Gallery “EYE”. Moscow, Russia.

Group exhibitions:

  • 2016 – “Volga”. CHA. Moscow, Russia. “Migrants”. Galerie on the corner. London, Great Britain.
  • 2013 – “Happy end”. MAMM. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2012 – “Was geht ab?” Fotoforum Braunau. Braunau, Austria.
  • 2012 – “Stone Flower”. NCCA. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2012 – “Show and tell”. EC “Artburo”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2012 – “Repair”. TOP, parallel program Documenta 13. Kassel, Germany.
  • 2011 – “Life in motion”. International Center of Photography. New York, USA.
  • 2009 – “Before and after”. Gallery “OST”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2009 – “Silver Camera 2008”. Central Exhibition Hall “Manezh”. Moscow, Russia.
  • 2008 – Volga Biennale. Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
  • 2007 – “Silver Camera 2006”. Central Exhibition Hall “Manezh”. Moscow, Russia.

All author's works

Magic forest

Placed on hunting trails in Austrian forests, dummies of wild animals reproduce a natural idyll, and at the same time are designed for the shooter’s careful eye. These crudely made figures come to life as in a fairy tale, provided that the person remains outside the brackets, outside the frame. The comparison of the photographer and the hunter is widely known: keeping reality in sight, the photographer seeks to capture the precious moment. The topic of the absence and presence of an observer in Tatarinova’s project becomes an eloquent commentary on the idea of pure, objective vision: human attention is the main condition for the existence of this reality, not disturbed by a person.

Night fairy tales

Folk tales have grown out of ancient rituals; they have been and continue to be a key mechanism for learning and becoming embedded in the world. Today, fairy tales make up mostly children’s reading. Moments of brutality in the story are subdued, with endings always turning out to be a happy one. But the dark beginning makes itself known explicitly or implicitly; the tale is often a story about the process of initiation, the symbolic transition to adult status – involving loss, loss of self and renewal. Sofia Tatarinova’s series reflects this dark, mystical beginning. Its protagonist is the forest, the traditional setting of many fairy tales, a liminal space. Huts are lost in the forest thicket, children get lost in it, and a mysterious guest might come from it. In the daytime, the forest glows, but as night falls on the world, the forest and its inhabitants can turn against the traveler. Such a representation of the forest is still present in the collective unconscious of modern man; Tatarinova appeals to it in order to fix the shaky boundary between the real and the imaginary and to appeal directly to the viewer’s subconscious fears.