Roksana Parvanova

Roksana Parvanova is a visual artist working within the area of photography. Her work concerns the society, politics, the marginalised, and mental health. She is interested in the visual narrative and the purposes a photograph serves. Observing, documenting, and constant reflection are involved in her practice. Furthermore, the photographer that the camera and visuals have beneficial, yet to be discovered, therapeutic uses. The artist uses the medium of photography as a tool that can visualize a subject matter and convey a feeling, capturing the ephemera; materialize it, transforming it into immortal, over lasting the mortal human flesh and memory.

Fruit Fly

“I was born 2 hour ago as a fruit fly… “

“Fruit Fly” is an experimental therapeutic photography project. Ideas are manifested through an installation that explores the relationship between photography and grief. Furthermore, the installation questions the nature and possibilities of the medium of photography.

The ‘Fruit Fly’ installation consists of a slide projection, a table cloth and a seat for contemplation. Slides are taken on film and digital camera, translated into light drawings and simultaneously produced into print copies in a photo book. Thus, the language of photography is being translated from ephemeral becoming a physical object, and back to the ephemera, creating a cycle. The indexical shots are edits taken in different locations at different times, visualising the idea of the ephemera and memento mori. Some are taken during the Golden hours on Easter in Bulgaria. The timing is crucial and symbolic; plants, light, pregnant cat, lonely dog, bread making, dyeing eggs in red. The absence of the human figure strikes the audience yet it leaves a warm poetic feeling in your stomach. Hints of human flesh or hair appear; empty spaces occupied by useless objects, rust and silence; yet the garden keeps blooming every spring until late summer, when it goes back to sleep again.

The family, tradition and heritage become key points within the conversation of photography, memory and its therapeutic means. There is a change of location, there is community, change of space and time, in order to go back and process the trauma. Reflection is crucial within the practice of looking, observing, shooting and going back to the visual.

Influences are Susan Sontag’s “On Photography” and her idea of every photograph being a memento mori; Rolland Barthes and his “Camera Lucida”where he questions the differences of a good a bad photographs and what does a good photograph consist of; Georgi Gospodinov’s “the Physics of Sorrow” where the main character has the superpower to remember other people’s memories and experiences as of his own, processing their trauma and grief. Moreover, photographers that have influenced the work are Nan Goldin, Wolfgang Tillmans and Jo Spence, the founder of “PhotoTherapy”.

Therapeutic photography is every means of working with a visual that ends up being beneficial in any possible way. No professional equipment or even a camera are necessary for this process. No art or photography knowledge are required. Everything is about the self and the inner monologue.

“Fruit Fly” is an installation that combines text and visuals. The text addresses the inner monologue and thoughts referencing journaling within therapy practice. The relationship between photographs and text build a chronological narrative of someone’s life; transforming “death” from a taboo into a part of a natural cycle.

“Fruit Fly” is an experimental therapeutic photography project that speaks about the relationship between the artist and her father; the artist uses photography in combination with text as a tool to process and understand her loss better.

“I was born 2 hours ago as a fruit fly

And I will die before sundown. “