• Thousands of shots inspired by a single painting
  • National dance as a meditation in motion
  • Impressionism in photography

Alexandra Kravtsova: 

I like the thought that the ideas choose on their own those who can bring them to life. I would like to share the story of how the “Whirlwind” photo series was created. 

In the old and dear Yakut house of my grandmother, there was a reproduction of the painting by the Russian artist Filipp Malyavin called “Whirlwind”. As a child, I couldn’t take my eyes off this painting. It contained so much movement, joy and love for life! Outside, there were snowdrifts and the biting frost, but in front of my eyes I could see the fire whirlwind of human joy and happiness expressed in dance! 

Time has passed, and, all of a sudden, I started to recognize the reflections of the familiar “Whirlwind” in everything: on the pages of random magazines, in posters and on TV. I was covered by the whirlwind even in my sleep. The idea was circling and hovering around me; it didn’t let me go; it took me captive. It was then that the first series, “Women’s Dances” was made.    

The inner impulse to continue the series and present a national dance as a certain form of meditation in motion that erases temporal, cultural and religious borders led to the creation of the subsequent photo works, such as “Dervishes”, “Flamenco”, “American Indians”, “Papua”, “Yakut Dances”, and “Ukrainian Dances”. Together they make up the “Whirlwind” series.

When shooting, I used a slow shutter speed. This technique helped me to create an illusion of the dancers’ movement and the atmosphere inherent to the impressionists’ paintings.

Two years of work on the series resulted in around 10000 shots, from which only few were chosen for the exhibition at Erarta Museum. 


About the author:  

Alexandra Kravtsova was born in Siberia, grew up in Yakutia and now she lives in Saint Petersburg.  She has worked in art photography since 2010. According to Alexandra, her main sources of inspiration are cinema and the paintings by impressionists.


Major group and solo exhibitions: 

“Mademoiselle”, solo exhibition at the F. M. Dostoyevsky Literary Memorial Museum, Saint Petersburg, 2016

“The History of Russian Manor”, the State Historical Museum, Moscow, 2014

“Mixit”, LEO theatre, Munich, Germany, 2014

“Parallaxe”, Mediapark 7,Cologne, Germany, 2012

About exhibition
29.03.2018 — 21.05.2018
10:00–22:00 (closed on Tuesdays)
admission ticket
for Erarta Members

The international publication remarked upon both the rich collection of the contemporary art and original museum projects
Museum news
28 February, 14:26
Erarta Museum apologizes for the temporary inconvenience
28 February, 14:23
The exposition on the 2nd floor of the Exhibitions Wing will be closed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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