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A Perpetual Hold

February 15 May 12, 2013
Artist's Talk, Book Signing and Opening Reception: February 15, 6:00-8:00pm
Student Seminar: Thursday, February 14, at 11:00am (Photography School Lecture Theater, Bldg. 530, Rm. 118)

Ballet 2008, from the series, This Russia
  "For me, a lasting image reveals the photographer's emotional dedication, sincerity and captivation with the subject. In a way, I photograph not to record the facts, but to capture proof of a feeling." —Irina Rozovsky


This exhibition consists of two series from Irina Rozovsky: This Russia presents Rozovsky’s encounter with her native Russia when she returned for the first time in 2008 after leaving there as a child. Her ambiguous and beautiful images emerge from a struggle to engage her family and cultural origins; calling to mind her own recollections, memories and yearnings. In One to Nothing Rozovsky traveled through Israel, finding in the mundane fabric of the everyday life that she encountered in that strife-torn and troubled country the manifestation of the immense and continuing struggle that continues to rage there.

This Russia
"In the summer of 2008, I returned to Russia for the first time since my family left exactly twenty years before. As the plane began its descent and Moscow’s boulevards became visible below, I remembered an idea that gripped me as a child: growing up in a suburban New England town, I questioned if my American existence was nothing more than the elongated dream of a seven-year-old girl left napping in her grandmother’s apartment in Moscow. I entertained that at any moment I just might wake up, in that darkened room with its blue wallpaper, and everything would be back to where we left off, as if my family’s immigration and everything since, never happened. As life took root here, this vision eventually faded and Russia became a distant, miniature landscape on the face of a lacquered box, a place in books, old photographs and in my parents’ stories. The summer I returned, Moscow was wrapped in a haze that rose like a mirage. Stepping into the heat and looking around, I began to rub two decades of sleep from my eyes." —Irina Rozovsky

“These photographs describe a place both real and imagined by years of absence and the disorientation of being a stranger in a familiar land. They look for what has been left behind and disconnected—This Russia—its crumbling buildings, searching faces—its fairytale drenched in redeeming, yellow light, nostalgia tinged with harsh reality.”—Irina Rozovsky

Kremlin In Traffic, 2008, from the series, This Russia

Untitled, 2011, from the series, One to Nothing
One to Nothing
"IsraeI is a place of historic conflict where it is not always clear who is the victor and the victim. To an outsider watching the news, the score may appear easy to tally, but once immersed in the country itself, the struggle takes on daunting proportions and complexities. It is a Gordian knot, becoming ever more tightly coiled as you try to unravel it." —Irina Rozovsky

“Rozovsky's Israel is a land of modern ruins and ancient mysteries that never offers solutions, only questions and riddles…Throughout the book, the ancient and modern are precariously woven together by fragile filaments - awkwardly cohabitating a space that barely has enough room for the ancient history that hangs heavy over the land.” -Adam Bell, photo-Eye magazine


"My photographs begin by looking at the external world—real people living in real places to the beat of an everyday pulse. Yet what is pictured in the end is a distilled, abstracted version of what was there: an emotive landscape of the mind, an internalized sense of place. I am interested in the camera as a means to go beyond documentary facts, and to convey a subjective proof of an objective truth. Photographs are by nature fragmentary and illusory—mirages of sorts. But through their combination a whole is formed and a story is woven that talks to us about our lives and calls up what Albert Camus said about literature: 'Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth'.

The places I tend to photograph are all in some way close to home and ask me to relate. As geographies, Russia, Israel, and Prospect Park seem to have little in common—but photography allows me to spin a vital connective thread and tap into what I feel to be a complex past and present encoded in the land, in the gestures and body language of people, in the quality of light and air. In all these places I am searching for the layers of human presence and marking with awe its confirmation."—Irina Rozovsky


Irina Rozovsky was born in Moscow and grew up outside of Boston after emigrating to the US. She studied French and Spanish literature at Tufts University and received an MFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art.

Rozovsky has taught photography at Parsons School of Design at the New School; the International Center of Photography in New York; Art Institute of Boston; Boston University and at the Massachusetts College of Art. Her work has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions including at the Breda Photo Festival, Netherlands; Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee; Smith College; the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University; Maven Gallery, Berlin; Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York; Fountain Gallery, Brooklyn; Current Gallery, Baltimore; Umbrage Gallery, New York; the New York Photo Festival and most recently, in a solo exhibition at the New England School of Photography, Boston.

Her recent monograph One to Nothing (Kehrer Verlag, 2011) was named as one of the best photo books of the year by Alec Soth and photo-eye Magazine.

Click HERE for information about Irina Rozovsky.

All images are Archival Pigment Prints.

Rozovsky Rozovsky
White Church, 2008, from the series,
This Russia
Untitled, 2011, from the series, One to Nothing The Customer, 2008, from the series, This Russia

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