Irina Popova

Go Far Away and Hide It Under the Ground

Best Color Picture

Frome the series Go Far Away and Hide It Under the Ground by Irina Popova

Gomma Grant 2016 Best Colore Picture

"Go Far Away and Hide It Under the Ground" is the second part of the project called "If You Have a Secret".
It is a book into which I put there all my soul, all my experiences, all my past and present. It's about me being a Russian - and trying to understand what means to carry a motherland within yourself. It consists of the photos from my photo archives from more than 10 years of being a photographer, travelling all over the country and basically taking photos whenever I can.

It was a life transformed into the surface of the images. The text which accompany the book are the personal memories, sometimes funny, sometimes traumatic, but the ones which reflect the connection with the land - the experiences which form our souls. In the course of the work I understood that there is no such a thing as ideological, official patriotism. There are only those small personal things which form our identity. The interior of the kitchen in the parent's house. The drunken man on the street whom you help to stand up and who tells you nice words.

The book is called "If you have a Secret". There is a continuation of this phrase - "Go far away and hide it under the ground". The concept is based on the children's game where you hide a treasure under the glass and bury it - in order to rediscover it on the next day... or many years later.

In the second part of the project I decided to return to my "Secrets" and to revise them. To rediscover my connection with my land - after more than 7 years of living abroad, I will revisit Russia and find, if that modern, changed country resonates with my soul and something Russian in me.

The design of the book will play with half-pages, folded pages, and texts hidden in between, in order to create a meta-photography, a storytelling in several layers. The first part of the book in 2014 book wasn't widely advertised. It had a very small edition - only 120 English and 64 Russian copies, supported by Art Geneve Fair, specially for the exhibition about Russia "My Joy", curated by Katia Krupennikova. It got sold out. Now I don't have a copy myself.

The second part will have an improved design, but still retain the same spirit of raw honesty, searching for some feeling between pain and joy - something which is called "Motherland"."

Go Far Away and Hide It Under the Ground.
Irina Popova.

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