Digital FeaturesRe-ModelElizaveta Porodina
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Elizaveta Porodina


PHOTOGRAPHY Elizaveta Porodina STYLING Christina van Zon HAARE & MAKE-UP Stella von Senger LICHT Josef Beyer FOTOASSISTENZ Andreas Huber SET & PROP DESIGN Beatrice Schuell MODEL Veronika Rusakova @ M4 Models CAMERA Leica S (Typ 007) with Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 Asph. (CS), Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 Asph. (CS) und Summicron-S 100mm f/2 Asph.

With ‘Re-Model’, the Munich photographer, Elizaveta Porodina, has created an emotional story surrounding the model Veronika Rusakova – a very experimental composition that deals with the various phases of growing up.

You were born in Moscow but you’ve lived in Germany for a long time now. In what manner do the two cultures, traditions and points of view influence you and are reflected in your photography?
Russian literature, the palpable melancholy and heaviness that in often evident in the way artists from my homeland express themselves – I’ve definitely brought that with me. I began and completed studies in psychology in Germany, and while I was studying I gained abilities in communication that helped me understand myself and others. I use these abilities every day in my work as an artist.

When did you realise that you wanted to do something different?
During the time I was training as a psychotherapist – while I was looking after a psychiatry patient in a closed ward. I liked my profession and the job a lot, and dealing with the people I met there helped my personal growth and taught me a lot about people. However, during that time, I felt very clearly that my soul would take flight every time I gave myself to photography. When I was taking pictures, I really managed to exist in the here and now, in the moment. Once that became clear to me, there was no other alternative.

You photographed ‘Re-Model’ for the S Magazine, a series that makes use of diverse perspectives and set-designs. What conceptual approach is behind it? Does ‘Re-Model’ also tell a story? If yes, what’s it about?
The conceptual approach is closely tied to the story that I staged in ‘Re-Model’.
It’s the story about growing pains, the phase when a human being is growing up, and all the emotions, difficulties, key moments and nuances connected to that. Moments of absolute clarity meet blurry borderlines, anger meets sadness and resignation, male side meets female side – and at times there is something within yourself that you identify as monstrous; there’s no way it’s part of you and yet it also belongs to the whole process.

You often describe the models you work with as muses. How important is that to you, and what role does Veronika Rusakova play in this regard?
These people are my muses: their personalities are the source of my inspiration; their way of being is a theme for my work; I make use of their individuality, uniqueness and impulses to attain unique, spontaneous and honest results. That’s why they more than deserve to be called muses. This description definitely fits Veronika. I’m fascinated by her passion and her talent for acting, and I’ve already worked on six projects with her since I first met her for ‘Re-Model’.

Where does the inspiration for your stories come from and how do you realise them? Do you know specifically in advance how a picture should look, or do you tend to work more spontaneously?
The inspiration and basic approach to my work dealing with human personality and its distinctive features, comes in part through my studies and former jobs, and in part from a deep, inner wish to further deepen my knowledge about the phenomenon of personality and identity, and to capture my understanding on the conscious and unconscious levels. In my opinion, photos are even better that drawings, because photos can reflect the ambiguity and ambivalence of such a phenomena better that a thousand words that I could come up with.

How would you define your style? And do you find that your perception of things has changed over the years? Has your style become more focussed recently, with symbolism playing a more central role?
I would probably define my style as experimental, but I also really like ‘dark iconography’, which was the title of my first solo exhibition in Berlin in 2016. The last three years brought about many personal changes; I got to know and learnt to respect many people and customs during my many travels. This new information made me more open to the world, which in turn led to a new form of expression that is reduced to honesty, emotions and human features. The message, the passion, the humanity is always at the centre.

Can you describe working with the Leica S? Does it have specific features that have a new influence on your work? What meaning do the MiFo and the look of the optics have?
Without wanting to flatter, I must say that I’m in love with the Leica S’s colour dynamics. The colours remind me of modern paintings, and when creating the looks – that I approach experimentally – the resulting colour tones and correlations are something that I’ve never seen to date. And because the pictures have so much information, it makes cropping all the more fun.