Maria Kokunova

Maria Kokunova (b.1983, Armavir, Russia), independent photographer, visual artist. Lives and works in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

The problem of personality and the mechanism of subject constitution are the main themes laying in the sphere of her interests. In her works, she focuses on the process of self-reflection and searches for visual metaphors to be used for examining her life in order to translate the emotional and psychological state into some visual form. Instead of forcing herself into a formal framework, she uses various visual modes and employs a greater variety of photographic techniques and styles to create a complete visual image.


Who chose that face for me?
J. Joyce “Ulysses”

I cannot see my own face as a physical object. To do that I need to stop being myself and become an outside observer.

I cannot fully comprehend who I am as a human being. It is an inextricable problem that leads to eternal self-address, and being a part of common culture influences our perception of the world.

What I look at is never what I wish to see in the Other, and on the other hand: you never look at me from the place from which I see you.
Jacques Lacan

They tell me to look in the mirror, but the reflection there is not me, it is just an image. My glance comes back reflected by void.

They call me by my name, but it is just a symbol, a signifier that does not relate to my natural real SELF. Language shield alienates me from the world and from myself since childhood.

It is impossible to wash off the words.

It is impossible to fit into the needle’s eye.

I cannot force my own self-cognition beyond my own nails’ cutting.

All that existential fuss reminds me of rummaging through a woman purse.

The whole world turns out to be a projection and an imaginary construct that is being built according to the existing system of cultural codes.

My SELF is as much a result of such reality as reality is a generation of SELF.

To view more of Maria Kokunova’s work please visit her website.