French photographer Lise Sarfati from 1989 to 1998 lived in Russia, taking the country at a crossroads in the dashing 90’s. These shots from Moscow, Norilsk and Vorkuta combined into a photobook “Acta Est”.
Lise Sarfati was born in 1958 in the Algerian city of Oran, grew up in Nice. I started taking pictures at the age of 13. In her teens she studied on the films of Robert Bresson, Alain René and in the pictures of the Russian documentary pioneer Dziga Vertov, and later studied Russian at the Sorbonne. In 1986 she became an official photographer at Academie des Beaux-Arts. In 2003, Lise moved to California, and before that 10 years she lived and worked in Russia.
Acta Est became the first book of the French photo artist. It consists of photographs taken during a long stay in Russia in the 1990s. The publication does not relate to travel notes, nor to a photojournalistic essay. These photographs of Sarfati were woven by a bold and detailed description of the enchanted Russian environment in order to create a visual drama about unhappiness and destruction, about changes and beauty.
In the pictures of Sarfati imprinted shabby interiors, collapsing buildings and abandoned factories, which often enliven the lost characters: adolescents and street children. Acta Est is an exciting material from photographs that have equal value as a historical document about Russia at the end of the last century and as an example of a poetic visualization of a photographer.
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