Where Swans Meet
(A Deconstruction of a Photographer)
I met two young women from Minsk, Belarus. We happen to be the same age. Anna and Katerina grew up in the same neighbourhood and were best friends while in high school. Anna dreamt of starting a new life in The Netherlands, where she is currently studying. Katerina never left Belarus and lives in Minsk together with her mother. The two friends rarely see each other. I have never seen them together, but they talked to me about each other, and I slowly became part of this triangular relationship. I photographed Anna and Katerina for two years in their home cities in Minsk, Amsterdam and The Hague when I started questioning our relationship and my exact role as an artist: was this friendship, or work? To what extent an artist use its subject? I researched the interaction between subject and author, and how this relationship is constructed and even manipulated at times. Where Swans Meet (A Deconstruction of a Photographer) is an attempt to show an honest relationship between subject and author where I put the artist’s integrity on display.