Lise Sarfati. Acta Est

Acta Est is the first book by the French photographer-artist Lise Sarfati. Composed of images made during extended visits to Russia in the 1990s, Acta Est is neither travelogue nor photo-journalistic essay. Rather, Sarfati weaves daring detailed descriptions 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. Sarfati builds a disturbing world of decaying buildings and neglected factories, which she brings to an eerie life with lost characters: young transsexuals and teenage runaways interned in ‘re-education’ 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. The forty-six featured photographs sequenced by Sarfati are accompanied by a thought-provoking introduction by the Russian-born art historian Olga Medvedkova.

Text: Medvedkova Olga. cm 20,5×30,5; pp. 112; COL; hardcover. Publisher: Phaidon Press, London, 2000.

ISBN: 9780714839103| 0714839108

ID: AM-5191

Product Description

Acta Est is the first book by the French photographer-artist Lise Sarfati. Composed of images made during extended visits to Russia in the 1990s, Acta Est is neither travelogue nor photo-journalistic essay. Rather, Sarfati weaves daring detailed descriptions 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. Sarfati builds a disturbing world of decaying buildings and neglected factories, which she brings to an eerie life with lost characters: young transsexuals and teenage runaways interned in ‘re-education’ 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. The forty-six featured photographs sequenced by Sarfati are accompanied by a thought-provoking introduction by the Russian-born art historian Olga Medvedkova.

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