Photography by Mariya Ustymenko
By Rhiannon M. Kirkland
Mariya Ustymenko gives us images that are both old fashion and contemporary, both retro and modern. Working with traditional analog film photography, she uses the limitations and challenges of old film cameras as one of the main themes and tools in her photography. This seeming limitation turns into an embedded source of meaning in every project Mariya undertakes.
Ustymenko is currently involved in two major projects Motion and Silence, and Private Places. Both use the blur and limitations of traditional film photography as part of their message. Motion and Silence features a series of black and white photos of isolated moments and incidents. They are snapshots of action, or the middle of action. They are unattached and disconnected. They are just moments within a story rather than presenting a coherent beginning middle and end. Each shot represents a complete moment, while at the same time is part of a larger incomplete event or story. Several use motion blur or reflections in windows.
The series Private Places explores ideas of femininity confined by domestic space. It uses traditional black and white photographic images that blur the lines between different gender roles, contemporary and historical, and fantasy and reality. It was inspired by Arthur Miller’s play “A View from the Bridge” and the iconography of 1950s Hollywood. The images look like they could be from another era entirely and are a blast from the past.
Mariya Ustymenko’ s beautiful and mysterious photography is featured in our current issue 10 of Rooms Magazine. The Ukrainian photographer raised in Kiev, is currently residing in St. Osyth, United Kingdom.