/ Kristina Rozhkova / Photo story

The Bliss of Girlhood

For some reason, as a society we sanctify youth. You may say that this project for me is an attempt to do the same. For me, each of my heroines is a goddess, each of their gestures is sanctified. I met my models for Girls by chance, while out on a walk in my hometown this summer. I instinctively knew that I wanted to shoot my next portrait series about them, to spend time with them, and almost join them in their play through photographing them.

When working with my models, I especially liked working with the notions of affect, sensuality, and the interplay between the concepts of the aberrant, erotic and childlike. I sought to find the my own so-called adult experiences reflected in the world of childlike simplicity and beauty. I enjoyed being enthralled by the image of the slightly-opened mouth, the relaxed Balthus-esque poses; the image of a strand of hair slightly out of place or a gesture that I saw as an expression of almost-religious trepidation.

I do not fixate on the erotic here. For me, these photos are not about eroticism for eroticism’s sake, or even about eroticism at all. Rather Girls is about being able to catch and re-examine that transient, waifish, liminal moment between “almost childhood” and “almost adulthood” that I have already passed in my own life. For me this photoset is an attempt to get at the heart of vitality as a concept, to examine life in all its forms. “Childhood” and “blissfulness” converge with “aggressive sexuality” and “disquiet.”

These themes are very present in my previous work as well. There is conflict between power and weakness, sensuality and aggression. All this has converged in the images of my “Girls” who are always full of contradictions. The beauty and the essence of “waifishness” or “girlhood” for me is in its transience…

Kristina Rozhkova (1996) was born in 1996 in Perm (Ural), Russia. She has studied philosophy at the Perm State University, where she started taking photography. In 2019 she moved to Saint-Petersburg where she has been studying for an MA Degree in Practical philosophy of SPBU. She is also a student at Fotografika School.