The Nature of Imitation



September 12 - October 24, 2015

Born in Moscow in what was then the Soviet Union, Monakhov Stockton will be featured in two simultaneous exhibitions, one from her soon to be released monograph, The Nature of Imitation (Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam, 2015) and the other from her ongoing series of pinhole camera images, Post-Photography. For The Nature of Imitation, she both photographed birds in captivity, under controlled, pre-conceived settings, and introduced elements of modification and the artifice of the studio into the outdoors. The work showcases the photographer’s intellect, honed at a finely tuned crossroads of art history and photographic experimentation, for the purpose of what Elizabeth Biondi states in the monograph’s accompanying essay, “exploring and manipulating images without any loss of authenticity.” Monakhov Stockton’s background as a photojournalist with an MA in Italian literature eventually led her to an MFA from Columbia, two years after being wounded while covering an Israeli – Palestinian conflict in the West Bank. She expressed her doubts about the validity of the documentary aesthetic, confessing in an online interview “the documentary genre in photography has long had a troubled, or perhaps undefined, relationship to its subject.” Biondi likens Monakhov Stockton’s transformation to that of a painter’s ability to control the subject: “In the studio an artist is free to take creativity wherever it leads. This is the freedom Yola wanted....”

All works © Yola Monakhov Stockton.