Anna Hahoutoff is a French/Russian self-taught photographer born in 1993 in Paris from a French mother and a Russian Father. She lived in St Petersburg for the first eleven years of her life and then moved back to France. She lived in the UK, Ukraine and several others places in Europe. Anna is based in France but currently working between America and France on a large scale photography project gathering series, documenting each American state.
With Americana, her core photographic work, she reveals the beauty and efficiency of the American dream imagery looking through a Russian lens. Shooting almost exclusively in digital and color, Anna’s photographs navigate textures, shapes and colors. Her scenic, rhythmic series all intertwine and together knit a canvas where her journeys seeking spiritualism appear clearly. Hahoutoff is an active member of the Live Wild collective.
Are the United States united?
With this broad question I was initiating my third year in an even broader country : The United States of America.
In the middle of a political and social tumult, I was even more than before focussing my thoughts and my work on random elements. Almost avoiding characters, life, or personification of the American I was documenting the irrelevant, the detail, shifting further away from my initial project.
Gathering images from everywhere, town after town, state after state, I was looking for elements of unity and visual recurrences in a country that was dividing itself a little bit more everyday.
Who are Americans today? How did such a young nation became such a influential empire?
None of my images were trying to answer these matters anymore. Running away from a reality that seemed to degenerate into chaos, I was leaning towards fragments of light, natural elements, and mystical appearances.
Image after image, I was trying to order chaos around me and in my daily life of constant travel, at least for the past twenty-seven months.
Completely out of my comfort zone I was aiming to create with my images a familiar setting, a sort of deja vu.
More than thirty states later, and lost in the immensity of this gigantic country, I was spreading my pictures like a Tarot set of cards. Each one of them was at the same time evocative and highly symbolic yet its meaning could easily be evasive and generic. From great states of anxiety and distress to complete beatitude my frame of mind was following the construction pattern of everything around me: constant dichotomy.
Democrats and republicans, right or wrong, black or white, I started to search for the grey area, for the approximate, the average discreetly present in elements surrounding me.
Just as the country I was trying to dissect I was constantly shunt from light to darkness. I was searching for something greater than me in hostile places, a certain state of serenity in unknown settings maybe.
To view more of Anna Hahoutoff’s work please visit their website.