Artek – The Leica digicam Weblog


The French photographer is a exact and protracted observer. Throughout her many travels, she has captured, with nice sensitivity, the residing environments of probably the most numerous peoples and areas. One among her best-known sequence is a photographic portrait about children on the Artek vacation camp. Since 1994, Doury has travelled 4 instances to this Pioneer camp. Situated near the small city of Hurzuf on the Crimean Peninsula, it was established again in 1925; and all through its practically 100 years of existence, the camp has loved an eventful historical past. Constructed initially as a brief campground, within the fifties it started evolving consistent with Soviet ideology, till it turned a contemporary leisure and vacation camp. A brand new chapter started, following the top of the Soviet Union: the complicated turned extra business; however monetary points threatened its closure in 2009, so Ukraine determined to take over its administration. Even after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the camp continues to face, and has evidently turn out to be extra ideologically-oriented, as soon as once more.

Doury’s sequence conveys way over mere nostalgia; it’s convincing due to the photographer’s delicate visible aesthetics. She was initially within the actions going down on the camp; but, she quickly moved her focus to the younger individuals, representing this susceptible stage of an individual’s life. Doury captures moments of loneliness, of fragility, of bodily transformation, of the invention of the opposite – centred across the sport of seduction – past any political ideology.

How did you hear in regards to the place, and what triggered you to work there?
I can’t bear in mind precisely how I heard about this very prestigious Pioneer camp; however I felt like discovering this mini secret world, in a rustic that was nonetheless considerably closed. I went to Artek for the primary time in the summertime of 1994. I had heard speak about this vacation colony in Crimea – the most important camp of Pioneers within the Soviet Union – and I used to be thinking about seeing what had turn out to be of it, as soon as the Union and the Pioneers had disappeared.
I proposed doing a reportage for the newspaper Libération. Then, three years later, the journal Marie Claire France needed to publish one thing, and despatched me again there, along with a journalist. After that, it was the German journal Mare that got interested, and requested me to return to the camp. As of that second, I started to see the place in another way. It wasn’t a lot the assorted actions of the kids that I used to be thinking about, however slightly the connection between the adolescents themselves: their feelings within the midst of their actions; their social life; this new and ephemeral time. So I went again over two consecutive summers – 2002 and 2003 – to additional pursue this work.

Was it straightforward to get in contact with the administration and get all of the permits?
I used to be helped by mates who had been capable of talk with the administration. Throughout my first journeys, I used to be systematically accompanied by somebody from the administration; however sure, I used to be allowed to go to the camp freely.

How did you method the younger individuals? Have been there sure procedures to realize their belief?
Throughout my first visits, I adopted all of the actions of the kids and the adolescents: the morning gymnastics, the dance rehearsals, the afternoon nap, and the organised evenings. The method was primarily collective. Afterwards, after I returned – this time with my daughter, who needed to combine Artek into her holidays – I took a unique method. I not needed to doc the younger individuals’s every day lives, however slightly accompany them outdoors of their actions – throughout their “down time”, and their “reveries”. My method was undoubtedly additionally completely different as a result of I returned accompanied by my daughter, Sasha, and I adopted her roommates, particularly.

What did a traditional day in the summertime camp normally appear to be?
The morning actions started early with a gymnastics session, adopted by breakfast. Afterwards got here a sequence of sports activities coaching (nautical sports activities, dance, and so on.), which continued all through the day. Eventually I understood why this nation received so many medals on the Olympic Video games!

And – as at all times – the technical query: which digicam(s) and which lenses did you’re employed with? An analogue Leica M6 and a Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH?
The identical M6 digicam with the identical aspheric lens – 35mm Summilux 1.4.

Did you/do you keep up a correspondence with any of the younger individuals?
I’ve been contacted at instances by younger individuals who noticed my footage on the web, and needed to know if they might have footage of themselves. I put apart and despatched them every a duplicate of my guide, Artek.

You intentionally didn’t create your sequence as a documentary; however, how would you describe it?
My Artek sequence started with a documentary model, however then developed in direction of a extra private method the place actuality and fiction merge. The break moments between two actions, had been propitious for the ambiance I used to be searching for. These areas in time, intervals between two completely different actions, are attribute of this transitional age – the time between two ages; between two worlds. The vacation colony was the proper place to look at this era of transition. I believe it’s what I seek for in most of my work; to seize that which is timeless.

Claudine Doury was born in Blois, close to Orléans, France, in 1959. After learning Journalism, she first labored as a photograph editor, earlier than turning absolutely to pictures. She has obtained quite a lot of awards for her work, together with the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (1999). Her principally long-term sequence have been revealed and exhibited worldwide. Doury has been a member of the Agence VU since 1991. She lives and works in Paris. discover out extra about her pictures on her web site and Instagram web page.

Subject 8/2022 of LFI journal is presenting Claudine Doury’s sequence Loulan Magnificence.
Doury obtained the 1999 Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her sequence The Final Nomads of Siberia.

The exhibition Claudine Doury – Between Magic and Actuality is presently on show on the Leica Gallery, Wetzlar.

Leica M

The Leica. Yesterday. At the moment. Tomorrow.



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