Yana Kononova


Yana Kononova is a Pirallahi Island (Azerbaijan) born artist. She has defended her thesis in sociology by writing a work on the anthropology of modernity and has earned the doctorate degree in 2015. She has graduated from the Photoschool of Viktor Marushchenko (Ukraine) in 2017 and then has studied the Course on the photobook from Image Threads Collective. Her photobook project ‘As if Lola’ was shortlisted for the Ukrainian Dummy Award in 2018. She won the National prize for achievement in photography Ukrcontempphoto in the Emerging Photographer of the year nomination in 2019.

The work of Yana spans image investigative practices and figure studies. Her research-oriented process employs the concepts of Figure and Unheimlichkeit to examine the possibilities of non-narrative approach in relation to image-making and studying of gender performance and identity. The concept of Figure develops the idea of the sensible form related to the sensation as another way of working with the image, than a narration. The concept of Unheimlichkeit allows her to explore the image. This German term does not have an adequate translation into other languages and is poorly translated as “creepiness”. The main idea of its use is that — contrary to popular belief — we feel ourself not at ease not by the reason of a collision with something unknown or alien, but with what we are familiar with when it suddenly ceases to be understandable, close, recognizable.

She works with her subjects for a long period of time, as a result of which is the emergence of unexpected topics and mutual research space — the way to prevent the influence of pre-existing visual cliches and stereotypes.

She currently lives and works on Trachtemiriv peninsula, Ukraine.

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