Marina Istomina

2018 - Ongoing

In the Spring of 2003, three people were killed in one of the suburbs of the small Siberian city of Ust-Kut. The target was the leader of a local organized crime group and was known as “the King”. The attackers opened fire on two cars travelling along a deserted highway. My stepfather could have been in the car, because of friendship with the King.

The King was the “protector” of many people out in the provinces with a population of 40 million people, including the business of my parents. With his death, the local authorities lost their particular standing and the city became numb. I began to live with the feeling that death was approaching. When I found myself in an unfamiliar environment, I thought about all the places where I could be killed easily, and looked for places to hide.

This series of photographs is a reconstruction of events. I return to the city of my childhood, to the house where I lived with my parents. Arriving at the scene of the murder, I become an imaginary witness of the crime, recreating the scene according to my memories, the tales told by my stepfather and people close by, and the few mentions in local newspapers and crime records. Self portraits in my parents home were a way of working through the ineradicable fear and relentless anxiety, which would often overcome me during nowadays, and contrary to my desire, had become a kind of smothering protection.

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