Dreams, desires and our search for unlimited freedom are themes that Russian photographer Julia Borissova explores in “J.B. about men floating in the air,” her fifth self-published art book.
The St. Petersburg-based artist created the series as part of an exhibition project by the Russian art magazine Iskusstvo which was dedicated to the poet Joseph Brodsky. Borissova was particularly inspired by a passage in the poem “Lithuanian Nocturne” about two pilots who died in a plane crash in the 1930s when they attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane to fly to Eastern Europe.
“The story reminded me of Icarus, a figure in ancient Greek mythology,” says Borissova. “I have always been fascinated by people who try to realize their dream, even in defiance of common sense.”
Just illustrating the poem would have been too simple of an approach for her, so she created a parallel world that would only correlate indirectly with the poem: “My story is about every person’s dream to break the vicious circle of all kinds of constraints and to fly away to a distant unknown in search of unlimited freedom and to find there true motherland and real home.”
For the images in the book, Borissova used a mix of various materials and techniques. She created every element of the book herself. She went out to the Baltic Sea near St. Petersburg and started out by shooting a series of mockumentary photographs. The protagonist in her series is a man who dreams of flying. To further dive into the imaginary world, she then added her own drawings and created collages.
All photographs are shot in black and white. Borissova thinks that bright colors would turn away attention from the essential message she wants to convey. “I didn’t want to make a beautiful picture, it only serves as a symbol, a metaphor,” she concludes.
The book has 28 pages, is loperollo bound and each copy is a carefully handcrafted piece of art. If you’d like to get a copy, visit Julia Borissova’s website and get in touch with her.
Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with Julia Borissova in which she talks to us about freedom, her inspirations and her experience of self-publishing art books.
Information for this article was provided by Julia Borissova and sourced from the artist’s website. All photographs are provided by the artist and used with permission.