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Rafał Milach

7 rooms

color photographs (6) on dibond; 100x125 cm (2 photos), 50x63 cm (4 photos)

In his work, Rafał Milach pays special attention to the countries of the former Soviet bloc, especially as a founding member of the Sputnik Photos photographer collective. In 7 rooms he shows people who were born in the USSR, but grew up during the period of political transformation; people he got to know well during his his many visits to Russia and who eventually became his friends. This allowed him to create photographs that are clearly intimate in character.

The protagonist of one of the rooms is Vasya from a village near Yekaterinburg, the star of the local drag queen scene. In the series of photos we get to know his family and stage life, as well as friends and his surroundings over the course of six years. We meet his daughter; we see his stage incarnations as a female singer during concerts. In the photos showing his domestic activities, we observe how both his genders intertwine, revealing the everyday reality of him being trans.

Milachs aim was capturing contemporary Russia and its transformations through showing the lives of particular people. Despite the social nature of the entire series, the photographs retain a unique reflective and personal character.

Rafał Milach is a Polish photographer, visual artist, and author of photo books. In 2002, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, from 2003 he studied at the Institute of Creative Photography at the University of Silesia in Opava (Czech Republic), where he is currently a lecturer. He also lectures at the Krzysztof Kieslowski Film School at the University of Silesia in Katowice. He is a laureate of numerous awards, including World Press Photo, a finalist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. He was also nominated as a member of the prestigious Magnum Photos agency. He received many awards for the book 7 rooms, from which the presented photos are taken.