After studying drawing and painting, Lise discovered photography in the black and white darkroom. She was drawn to the fact that it allowed her to capture the memory of an encounter between a person and a specific place. After studying in Prague, Lise’s research around the individual and his/her space brought her to make a photo project in Moscow, where she was in residency for three months. She worked hand in hand with Olivier Sarrazin to explore the communal flats of Moscow, St Petersburg and Samara; Lise making photographs and Oliver creating video. After her first stay in Russia, Lise was invited to an art residency in Penza where she made a project about the Art College there. This new project is titled “9.24” and explores the strange world of this simultaneously academic and mysterious building. Today we take a look at her series Coced.
“Coced”, in Russian, means neighbor, not the next-door neighbor, but rather the roommate or flat-mate. From the Soviet legacy of communal flats to new forms of living in community, I went in search of these spaces of cohabitation in Moscow, St. Petersburg, & Samara. This project is a combination of my photographs and videos made by Olivier Sarrazin in the same apartments.
In the apartments, the bull’s-eye lets us in. An endless corridor follows, the spine of the monster, and the rooms are arranged on either side, as backbones. At the end is the kitchen: often small, simply equipped, with one or two chairs around the table, and one or several butts in the ashtray.
The other “coced” are often absent during our visits. If we come across them, the most that can be expected is a “zdrasvitie” and yet, it is often the creaking of the floor that answers us. The coced are not roommates, but almost next-door neighbors. Their presence similar to phantoms. In the corridor, they brush past each other without interfering with the trajectory of one another.
The bedroom becomes a refuge. The bed, the window, and the table where you eat and work compose a small universe. The bed often occupies most of the space. Down, the wallpaper and the covers are spinning in floral patterns, but it is here that the head is free and dreams can develop. The emptiness and the silence free the imagination so that you can travel out of this room. Somewhere else…
To view more of Lise’s work, please visit her website.