CUBS - by Oleg Dou


THERE WAS A PECULIAR TRADITION IN THE XIX CENTURY OF DOING PHOTO SHOOTS WITH DEAD CHILDREN









  • “BEING ELECTROCUTED WHEN I WAS TWO YEARS OLD IS THE FIRST THING I REMEMBER.”
  • “I LIKE HAVING A TRADITION AND SEEING HOW IT CAN WORK WITH MODERN MATERIAL, HOW IT CAN TRANSLATE INTO NEW IDEAS.”
  • “I WANT TO CONCOCT A SITUATION THAT HAPPENS, FOR EXAMPLE, IN EUROPEAN FILMS: THERE DOESN’T SEEM TO BE A SPECIFIC MESSAGE, BUT THE SITUATION PLAYS WITH OUR HEAD AND MAKES US ASK OURSELVES QUESTIONS LIKE ‘WHAT IS THIS’ AND ‘WHAT IS THIS FOR?”
  • “I FIND IT EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO DO WHAT I DO ‘BEAUTIFULLY’; NOT FOR BEAUTY ITSELF, PER SE, BUT MORE SO AS A TOOL THAT MAKES MY IDEAS BOTH INTERESTING AND WORKABLE.”
  • “I AM LOOKING FOR SOMETHING BORDERING BETWEEN THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE REPULSIVE, LIVING AND DEAD. I WANT TO ATTAIN THE FEELING OF PRESENCE ONE CAN GET WHEN WALKING BY A PLASTIC MANIKIN…”



all images by oleg dou
image © oleg dou


"A modern interpretation of an old practice, 'cubs' by moscow-based photographer oleg dou is a series of images that draw from the aesthetic and ambience of child funeral portraits. 
Utilizing a muted palette with a stark backdrop, the porcelain-like subjects are morphed to
display discerning features of various animals, such as a set of slender antlers for 'fawn'
and perked-up ears in 'rabbit'. the result is a whimsical collection of portraits that play into
the innocent adolescence of the characters while still maintaining an eery sense of death
and mortality.

The choice to transform the children into animal-like creatures was spawned from an
unhappy childhood memory of the photographer where he had to dress up as a white rabbit for a party: 'I couldn't pretend being happy in front of the camera, I hated being photographed. The image finally reflected my discomfort and my vexation.' conceived from his sketches, all the costumes shown in the series were tailored by dou's mother.

"http://lejournaldelaphotographie.com/entries/oleg-dou-funeral-portrait
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