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Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King Jr. (with Flag), Selma March, 1965 © Steve Schapiro & Fahey/Klein Gallery
Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King Jr. (with Flag), Selma March, 1965 © Steve Schapiro & Fahey/Klein Gallery

The artist collective Gang Of Witches was created in October 2016 by Sunny Buick, Paola Hivelin, Sophie Noël, and Lina Prokofieff. Their objective? To collaborate regularly with other artists and develop autonomous and alternative networks of distribution, particularly through an annual publication of  limited and numbered series. For the launch of the 2017 edition, an exhibition is gathering together works by painters Paola Hivelin and Sunny Buick, as well as work from photographer Lina Prokofieff.

Great-granddaughter of the famous Russian composer, Lina Prokofieff was born in Moscow and came to Paris when she was nine years old. This is an autobiographical detail that plays a fundamental role in her photographic work, as the sudden change of culture and country is the main material of her work based on memory.

The series of the twenty-two self-portraits presented recounts a story in six parts. It is a personal account through which the artist shows us the violence of the emotions she experiences, from the Witch to the Free-woman, by way of the Bride, the Possession, and the Tormented. The self-portrait, recurrent in Lina Prokofieff’s work, is an introspection as much as an exorcism. It is treated as a performance and organized according to a predefined ritual. It is also an artistic quest where the artist is disembodied, becoming at the same time prop, subject, and medium.

Music is often the starting point of the session. As explains the photographer: “I see my work as a performance and an artistic quest, set off by rituals, cadenced by music, and always guided by the duo of shadow and light.” The light at the center of the studio shrouded in darkness makes the work space sacred. Disguised in black, the face disappears under a ritual mask that the artist erases little by little during the process, as if she is progressively turning back into herself. The black here is an alchemistic and artifactual symbol adding to the theatricality of the chiaroscuro. The body, sensually playing with light, dons old laces, jewels, and immaculate tulle.

Paola Hivelin, Sunny Buick, Lina Prokofieff
June 10-16, 2017
Atelier Basfroi
23, rue Basfroi
75011 Paris

Édition 2017 – Objectif Lune

Publication limited to 400 numbered copies.