FINE ART / April, 2020

From "RussLand" series by Uldus Bakhtiozina

...Slavic culture is an immense and sometimes contradictory world of folklore, with a large number of linear and horizontal plots, characters, who are strange and paradoxical in their actions, with dual morality, which can be totally lost at some point.

Photographer and artist Uldus Bakhtiozina treat us with her unique vision of Russian fairy tales.
In Russian fairy tales, princesses have the ability to transform into animals like frogs, swans, snakes, etc. Uldus invites her audience to speculate on the ambiguity and dualism of each character in Russian folklore.

“Dragon Spirit”  (1) is evoked by the 3-headed dragon Zmey Gorynich — the most dastardly of all Russian villains.

“Masha and the Bear” (2) is a fairy tale about a little girl who loses her way in the forest and stumbles across an izba (log house), home to a family of bears.

“Mysterious Russian Soul” (3) this work represents all secrets we could’ve thought about Russians, oil baths, loads of meat, gold, stones.
Each "Tsarevna "(4) in Slavic folklore is the representation of the femininity and the beauty, protected and symbolized with the Moon, as the planet which influences women behavior the most.

“The most of beauty” (Prekrasnaya) (5) Combination of provocative interpretation of the concept about a beauty with orthodox and stereotyped one. The beauty of inner, excludes to give an invitation to its world to those who are closed in narrow perception of standards and sees bad there it doesn’t exist. This image of a girl which has non-standard appearance of beauty having in her ears candies (the most “Russians”ones, named “Alenushka” (one the most common names in fairy tales and folklore songs) with an image of a girl illustrating typical “beauty”and the way young girl should look like, otherwise no marriage is possible for her in the eyes of her surrounding. This is a challenge to stereotypes on beauty.

“All her dowry”  (6) illustrates young girl which is getting ready for marriage (normally in slavic culture around her early teens), preparing her dowry, without which she wouldn’t been taken from parents house, that would normally be tableware.

“Ryaba the Hen”  (7) is the first fairy tale that Russian parents usually tell their toddlers. It’s a tragic story about an old couple and their hen that lays a golden egg, which doesn’t bring them happiness. We see table full with shells from golden eggs and sad Ryaba in her humanized shape.

PETRUSHKA (8) is the doll, the main comic character in Russian puppetry, an evil doll with only 4 fingers on each hand .

TRIGLAVA (Three head goddess) (9). This three-headed Slavic goddess of Earth, and three of these heads represent the three elements that make up the earth: the soil, water and air. And they designated the mountains, valleys and forests.

Ivan (10) is the common hero in Russian fairy tales. Normally, his goal is to find something that no one else can. Although, he speaks with animals, flies on carpets, fights with dragons, he’s often called a fool.