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Valerie Manokhina

"When Henri Cartier-Bresson said that he was an amateur, he was not teasing. He shot what he wanted feeling like a free human being, even during the Soviet period.

Lera is also an amateur, in that she (sometimes) loves to take her 'watering can', like Cartier-Bresson, of course on film, not hurrying to convey something of her own representation of a fragment (for the most part) of her world view. She doesn't really care about the ensuing judgement about her photograph.

Unlike us, who have studied photography, not even from books but from the words and advice of senior colleagues, who are not particularly well trained either, Lera learnt the art of mastering a camera in London. It's clear to see that she is blessed. Her refined line nurses a harmonious enigma, the faces, unrecognisable to us, uncover a sense of meaning. It is entirely possible that they are deprived in life. The detail in the shot is more important than the whole, because apart from the visible character, it also hints at its destiny.

This destiny occupies our photographer, but she certainly has no beginning or end. She appears and stops at the moment when she presses the shutter button."

Yury Rost


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