Lena Tsibizova

Kola, Murmansk District, 2013
80x80 cm



This is one of the photographs of a series exploring the city of Murmansk, the world’s biggest city above the Arctic Circle, through studying its landscapes. The static square format chosen by Lena Tsibizova for this series dramatises the human sense of estrangement in a place with no sunlight in winter and midnight sun during summer.
The author draws attention to the particular importance of light by drastically increasing the brightness of the picture. The landscape with heavy truck tyre traces in the front and industrial ruins and a late Soviet-style building on the horizon is typical of any industrial city in central Russia, but for the sea sand and the cold undertone of northern sunlight which suggest the geographic location of the picture.
Lena Tsibizova avoids visual clichés and expressly critical narrative (so characteristic of portrayals of declining industrial cities) and invites the viewer to focus on formal landscape similarities.