Elena Amabili

Berlin-based Italian Photographer

15.06.2019   - 22.06.2019

In her long-term documentary photography projects, Berlin-based Italian photographer Elena Amabili explores Socialist architecture, Béton brut, political geography and urban psycho-geography.

Her photographic essay Slavaroid – Instant East consists of a growing instant photography catalog, documenting lost, forgotten and disused spaces in the countries of the former Socialist Eastern Bloc. These relics are documented using special edition colored Polaroids, giving Amabili’s photos a vintage, but also contemporary pop feel; an uncanny juxtaposition of gaudy joyfulness and bleached-out melancholy.

As the artist explains

Slavaroid – Instant East is an analog journey across what’s left of the Soviet legacy 30 years after the pulling aside of the Iron Curtain.

Colored, blurry, sometimes crapped, these instant-East shots fix traces of the past in a unique moment which tells a story about a world that no longer exists.

From Armenia to Dresden, from Moscow to Latvia, from Kazakhstan to Moldova, these relics are there to stay and to state that any (perfect) future is ever possible without a solid concrete memory and understanding from the past.

Elena Amabili, Artist’s Statement

Next to her work on Slavaroid – Instant East, Amabili is involved in two ongoing creative cooperations with Alessandro Calvaresi:Drum Bun, a photographic journey across the roads of Moldova through its USSR-era road signs, and Soviet Innerness, a photographic essay tracing the ornamental legacy of the East as found on dilapidated interior walls. The latter has been featured on The Calvert Journal, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Domus and many other major magazines.

Elena Amabili’s Slavaroid – Instant East was presented in the group exhibition Orphaned Memories, presented 15 – 22 June 2019 at SomoS as part of the official program of the 2019 48 Stunden Neukölln Festival in Berlin.

Slavaroid – Instant East
Soviet Innerness

Photos courtesy Cheryl Chan