Acta est

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Phaidon, Aug 29, 2000 - Photography - 104 pages
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Acta Est is the first book by the emerging photographer-artist Lise Sarfati. Composed of images made during extended visits to Russia during the 1990s, Acta Est is neither travelogue nor photojournalistic essay. Rather, Sarfati uses descriptions of the details of the Russian environments that fascinate her to create a visual drama of dysfunction and deterioration, change and beauty. The title -- from the Latin phrase Acta Est Fabula, meaning 'the play is over' -- signals her insistence that the work not be read as journalism but as a work of theatrical imagination. She builds a disturbing world of decaying buildings and neglected factories and peoples it with lost characters -- young transsexuals and teenage runaways interned in 'reeducation' camps. What results is a body of beautiful, engaging and disturbing photographs that are both a powerful historical record of Russia at the end of an era and examples of the unique poetry of a powerful new visual artist conjuring her own world.

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