Mariya Sharf

The tomorrow that started yesterday/A letter to the future

My dearest Maria,

Twenty years have passed since I wrote this letter in the year 2018 – fourteen years a er we le Tashkent. Now I’m twenty-eight years old and nishing my studies at Bezalel, writing to you just before the end-of-year exhibition.

Have another look at the pictures that you photographed then, I mean, at the moment. It was important for you to document the reality that you saw around you just as it was, but sometimes it was exposed as ugly, dirty, and chaotic. Somehow, despite everything, you succeeded in creating a personal lter, a visual language of your own, through which the photographs actually have “camouflaged screens” for the bare reality – a type of visual screen that manages somehow to create aesthetic documentation lled with distorted beauty, with the atmosphere, and in a surprising manner also with an unclear longing and nostalgia.

It is di cult to explain, but for you, the photography became an uncontrollable urge – an urge that compels you to document as if with an unclear obsession, to be preserved from extinction. The urge is like a shield for you, protecting you from the knowledge that everything is transient and will disappear in a moment – just like the childhood pictures, the memories, and the smells disappeared forever, when we le Tashkent.

It was important to me that you would see your Dad – this is how he was twenty years ago, loving to chatter about nonsense, to complain a little, and most of the time – to walk around in his underwear. Look at Mom, she’s a little tired lately. This is how I’d want them to remain forever.

Yours, Maria