Ksenia Rybka: Photography as Architecture
Ksenia Rybka
In a global sense, contemporary photography is the most important part of contemporary art and an incredibly fascinating process of photographers inventing their own identities (roles, masks, personal myths, personal philosophies, etc.). A contemporary photographer's skill is not only technical; contemporaryity also requires them to have a personalised message, their own narrative, and an active civic position. It is increasingly difficult for a contemporary photographer to hide behind camera lenses; huge demands and huge attention are focused on the very personality of the photographer. Therefore, the most interesting photographers create complex interdisciplinary worlds where their photographs, personal histories, and public intentions are intricately intertwined within the framework of a unique artistic practise (an artistic voice? an artistic message?).

Ksenia Rybka is an amazing example of the successful implementation of all of the above. Her works can be described as constructivist and richly detailed. They are dominated by dark and contrasting colours, the use of complex compositions, sophisticated poses of models, vintage and retrofuturistic clothing, and bright colour accents. In the works of Ksenia, an incredible balance of surrealism and some minimalism is maintained, which is expressed in an exciting effect of theatricality. Ksenia's meta message is a self-elusive message about the balance between fragility and the need to build up external armour, between ostentatious rudeness and the need to be different, to be queer, to be a freak, and to be free in the end. Ksenia's photographs are designed to create an atmosphere of conflict between spectator calmness and intellectual involvement. Blurred boundaries between static and dynamic compositions; fabulousness; vibes of fading modernity — this is a conscious choice of the photographer's tools. Ksenia Rybka, through photographs, creates the fascinating space of an exciting game where you are the main character looking for a way out of the polyesthetic and clear but super-referential labyrinth of your own blindness.

Ksenia Rybka is a sought-after contemporary photographer. She has publications and exhibitions in more than 10 countries around the world, and her work is kept in private collections in Western Europe and North America. Each photo looks like a spectacular and mysterious performance of some classic of contemporary European avant-garde theatre. However, this theatricality does not outweigh the artistic and conceptual content of Ksenia's works. Theatricality is a necessary frame or trick to attract the audience's attention. After the viewer's attention has been attracted, Ksenia's works begin to reveal themselves at various levels. From the level of utilitarian polyfunctionality (photos of Ksenia Rybka can be used in gallery spaces, fashion magazines, as prints, or even serve as inspiration for theatre directors) to the level of meta-message.

A picky viewer will definitely connect to the photographer's passion for constructing worlds, because behind all the passion, energy, and unrestrained play of inspiration lies the intelligence of the highest level and the cold calculation of the constructivist artist. It is the effect of being collected from disparate elements that informs us about the photographer's philosophy and her social position. Ksenia informs us of the joy of constructing incredible worlds. We can't exactly attribute these worlds — is this the future? Is this a parallel reality? Are these dreams? Are these utopias? But in our world rolling into the abyss of economic and military conflicts, the pure joy of creativity from creating personal worlds begins to have the highest value. This is the unique discovery of Ksenia Rybka as part of the development of her own philosophy of the art of photography.

Jenya Stashkov