The new exhibition at Lookout Gallery
features the most recent works by a Russian photographer, Jana Romanova, made in two places which focused worlds attention in 2014 - Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine and Sevastopol, Crimea.
The show presents two projects united by the theme of «shared» - the shared language and the shared space of post-soviet nations. In the series The Alphabet of Shared Words Romanova asks people participating in the Ukraines revolution at Maidan square to name the words which are exactly the same both in Ukrainian and Russian languages. The artists basic assumption is that understanding starts from a language and a language starts from alphabet. Together with the portrayed people, she creates a sort of a school alphabet illustrating each letter with one word shared by the two languages and aphotograph. There are 29 photographs in the series, which corresponds to the number of letters common in both alphabets. Jana Romanova was working at Maidan in March, when the Crimean crisis heated and ended with a referendum on joining Russia. The second project to be on show at Lookout Gallery Immerse - was made in Sevastopol, the biggest city in the Crimea. Immerse investigates into the landscape of the city in a difficult geopolitical context and the way it influences identity problems of its inhabitants. The young generation of people living in Sevastopol experiences a unique situation at a global scale - they were born in the USSR, grew up in Ukraine, and now live in Russia, without even having moved anywhere from their city. Romanova asked different young people, both Russian and Ukrainian, to choose monuments and buildings that tell something about their relation to Sevastopol and its history. Then she makes her models part of the landscapes depicted on the photographs. Both projects tell the story of different aspects of understanding between people in the postSoviet space, through language to landscape.
Jana Romanova (born in 1984, Saint-Petersburg, Russia). She deals with documentary photography and multimedia. She has got a degree in journalism from Saint-Petersburg State University. She has also finished the Faculty of Photojournalism in the name of U.Galperin in Saint-Petersburg, where since 2011 she is a teacher of photography. Her photographs were published in many international magazines such as: British Journal of Photography (UK), Der Spiegel (Germany, )Independent (UK), PDN magazine (USA), Russian reporter (Rus), Internazionale (Italy), Geo (France, Russia), Eikon (Austria), European Photography (Germany), PhotoRAW (Finland), OjodePez magazine (Spain), etc. Romanova won several awards and honorable mentions all over the world, in 2014 she was selected as a discovery of the Meeting Place FotoFest in Houston and selected for the edition «The Ones to Watch», an annual issue of British Journal of Photography in 2014.