Experimental - NOMINEE: Valentin Sidorenko
Photo © Valentin Sidorenko
Roots of the heart grow together
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My family had always been a whole thing – relatives from my mother’s and father’s sides had gathered for weddings, birthday and New Year parties. That bond was beginning to break when I was born, in the middle of the 90s. Family members died before I could get to know them, talk to them, love them. Years later I started meeting them separately via our family photo archive. Thus my family roots research has begun.
In the project I think about that family is formed not only of the people you spend your childhood with, but also owing to memory that can generate ties across the time, hence break boundaries. For two families living in different places at different times cannot have anything in common, but they might have a common future. Each of us, having been born, completes the chain in the present, but the chain doesn’t exist without memory.
It’s a personal project where I use my family archive photos. By combining two photo cards in one I’m trying to show the link between generations separated by time and culture.
Valentin Sidorenko is a visual artist and documentary photographer. He was born in 1995 in a small town Gornyak, which is situated in Altay Territory on the border of Russia and Kazakhstan, where landscapes full of endless steppes. His career has spanned different media – photography, book format, multimedia and documentary films. Sidorenko is interested in subjects of social and family relations, personal boundaries, choice, myths, fears. He believes that his works could find reasons of social, family, and personal problems, yet they are also autobiographical, drawing on his personal experience. He now lives and works in Moscow, Russia.