Only Beauty Will Do


These images were taken in a Russian village outside Moscow with a Polaroid impulse auto focus camera. 1

This camera is extremely limited in its capacity to record real light and information. It is designed to operate using automatic flash for every light condition thus imposing its light onto all subjects. By manipulating the cameras operations as the photograph was taken I imposed a new way of seeing upon the camera.

I imposed these new rules for the photograph in order to enforce a beauty that existed for me in this Russian forest. Parallel to this natural beauty, villagers had partly destroyed the forest using it as a public dumping ground. The area in which I took these Polaroid’s had insects, which found their own protection within the foliage, away from the abused site.

The duality exists in the corruption of the forest under the neglect of the people and my corruption of the camera to impose a new gaze that invests in beauty. Here a fantasia world exists within the reality of this forest in the aim to move beyond.

‘All is sacred but holiness is also a curse’ (Centaur, in director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s, ‘Medea’)


Lisa Byrne 2004


1During a residency at Mars Gallery, Moscow, 2004.