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By Katya Yanova


I consider three autobiographical stories of my growing up, lining them up into a disturbing narrative and creating my own mythology through an appeal to the image of a celestial whale.

In mythology, the celestial whale is depicted as a terrifying monster with three mouths and three heads, tentacles, claws, and the poisonous scorpion. The whale symbolizes the tremendous power, the energy that, once released, might destroy everything it meets on the way. The lowest level of the whale's power is creating chaos, plunging into the abyss. On the highest level the whale destroys everything that is obsolete, interfering and creates the conditions for future evolution.

This project is a kind of therapy, metaphorical cards which helps me to replace childhood traumas, make peace with them, and look for a reflection of myself in them from the present.


On a snow-white night, when a black cat was knocking down plates in the village kitchen, during the creak of old boards in the dusty attic, through the baby duvet blanket and the sensitive sleep, our house burned down.



What if every door brings salvation, but you cannot use it?

A man in his forties. Dark hair. Large mink hat. Black jacket. Butterfly knife. 7 spans. 7 platforms. One door.



One summer night, in a city park by the lake, when I was just saying goodbye to the teenager inside me, my father was killed. I know the place, I know the time, I know the names of the detainees. But I don't know the faces.



With her series "Micro-Movements", Ekaterina Yanova participated in the PEP exhibition "Obsessions":


“«Micro-Movements» is a photographic series about minor bodily manipulations that people reproduce unconsciously. I came to the topic of micro-movements from my own experience. Since early childhood, I have been performing certain small mechanical actions. I began the series by asking myself whether these movements are an integral part of the personality or, on the contrary, possibly violate its integrity. I conducted a survey among my acquaintances and strangers as to whether they unconsciously make any movements, small manipulations. Unexpectedly for me, the topic resonated very warmly and aroused sincere interest in a large number of people. The movements were often repetitive, with many biting their lips, scratching the bridge of the nose, gnawing at the skin on their fingers, rolling their pupils, rubbing their earlobe, pinching their nose, rubbing their eyes, and crunching their bones. But there have also been rarer movements, such as the hypertrophied opening of the mouth when one feels one’s ears are popped or the systematic patting of one’s clothes to see if they are in place. There are also movements after certain professional activities that have become routine. For example, to relax the leg muscles, many dancers rhythmically tap their heels on the floor, but after completing their professional activities, the habit has not gone away, but has taken root. This project turned out to be something bigger and more important than it was originally conceived. I heard a lot of personal stories, thoughts about the perception of the outside world and myself in it, about the search for behavior within my body. And in some ways I felt more free and confident.“


"Micro-Movements" by Ekaterina Yanova, from the PEP exhibition "Obsessions"

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