Estonian photographer and filmmaker Maria Kapajeva was born in the Soviet Union, raised in Estonia and educated in the UK. As a result of this, she finds herself in a positioning of ‘the other’. However, as an artist she has embraced this in her artistic practice. Eventually leading her to explore a varied spectrum of gender issues and cultural identity. Both within contemporary and historical contexts.
Kapajeva primarily focuses on the position of women in contemporary society. In her practice, her aim is to inquire how identities are formed due to subconscious effects. These include advertising, movies and pop culture. Most of all, transitory states inspire Kapajeva to make her intriguing pieces.
The series is made of a selection of vernacular photographs I found on the Internet and digitally manipulated afterwards. The familiarity of the interiors with the flats I grew up or visited on post-Soviet territories drew my attention to those images. So do the poses women are photographed in, which borrowed from another culture: a Western mass media as an exemplification of female sexuality. This series was one of the first works where I explored visual collision or co-existence of post-Soviet and Western cultures with focus on the women’s representation.