“So You Speak Russian” Documents a Photographer’s Uneasy Homecoming

Taking place between New York City, New Jersey, and Ukraine, So You Speak Russian is an exploration of photographer Jules Slütsky’s conflicted feelings about returning to her family’s home country. Through images of relatives, sites of memory, and artefacts of family history, Slütsky seeks to explore not only her own personal heritage but also that of Ukraine. Here, she discusses the process and inspiration behind the series. - Jules Slütsky
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Although aesthetically very beautiful photographs in this series, there is however something that detracts from the personality in this work for me personally. I felt that the ideas of returning home and of the sites of memory and relatives very nice but they were exactly as I had expected if that makes sense?

I had the same issue when making the work for My Grandmothers Cabinet of Curiosities as part of the first module I did on this MA programme. I felt the images said exactly what they were supposed to say and nothing more. When looking and thinking about work relating to memory, I feel there needs to be something else, something to link to that particular person on more than an aesthetic level or one of family value. In this series by Slutsky I don't see that. I see as she rightly explains still life images that have been selected and moved and placed xactly how she wanted them. I would have preferred to see more of what was found or something that showed why this selection in the frame had been made.

On the other hand a beautiful edit and a series I think this project would very much suite a hand made book project to add a little more personality and a connection to the memories retreived through the process of this project.

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