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Yelena Yemchuk - Malanka
Ukrainian American visual artist Yelena Yemchuk's sixth photobook: a series dedicated the Malanka Ukrainian folk holiday celebrated on Old Year's Day.
Like all bodies of work by Yemchuk, Malanka is personal, feminine, surrealist, and touched by a spell. The eponymous tradition is a pre-christian, heavily incantatory folklore ritual that takes place on January 14, the Old New Year in the Julian calendar. It is celebrated by ethnic Romanians in western Ukraine, and its origins are largerly unknown. Yemchuk traveled to Crasna (Krasnoilsk in Ukrainian) in 2019 and 2020 to document the night-long festival. In essence, Malanka is about driving out winter and stimulating spring into existence, an ancient custom reminiscent of Persephone's return in Greek mythology. While photographing in Crasna, Yemchuk also made a companion short film, which premiered during her solo exhibition at the Ukrainian Museum in New York, in 2023. The film stars Ukrainian artist Anya Domashyna and the American actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach.
Malanka includes a poetic essay by Romanian cultural journalist Ioana Pelehatǎi.
Yelena Yemchuk (born 1970 in Kyiv, Ukraine) is a New York-based artist and photographer. She immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was eleven. She became interested in photography when her father gave her a 35mm Minolta camera for her fourteenth birthday. She went on to study art at Parsons in New York and photography at Art Center in Pasadena.
Yelena Yemchuk's output as a visual artist is immediately recognizable, regardless of medium. She always invigorates her works with a particular notion of the in-between fiction and reality; between the grand beauty of 1960s cinema and the social and built environments of post-soviet realms; between her Eastern European heritage and her daily life in New York. Through Yemchuk's gaze, places and spaces organically and dramatically blur, creating dreamscapes in which her subjects experience some form of metamorphosis.
Yemchuk has exhibited paintings, films and photography at galleries and museums worldwide. She has shot for the New Yorker, New York Times, Another, ID, Vogue, and others.
Text by Ioana Pelehatǎi.

Graphic design: Katja Bruhin.
published in January 2024
English edition
18,6 x 25,5 cm (softcover)
176 pages (121 ill.)
ISBN : 978-3-907236-67-3
EAN : 9783907236673
currently out of stock

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