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Tempora Morte – Lia Darjes

During a residency in Kaliningrad (formerly East Prussia) Lia Darjes discovered the small improvised market stands on the roadsides of this neglected area largely cut off from the development of modern Europe. Kaliningrad Oblast was a military area with heavily restricted access until 1991, and since the end of the USSR it has been a Russian exclave isolated between the EU members Poland and Lithuania. On the simplest improvised stands, old women offer what they harvest with their hands from their gardens, nearby fields, and forests to supplement their feeble pensions. The pictures are enlivened by the aura of simplicity and plainness of the presentation of goods on the ground, on wooden boxes, newspapers, or modest camping tables. Lia Darjes’s pictures show these goods in a classic, almost timeless manner: potatoes, apples, berries, flowers, heads of garlic, homemade marmalade, and—most exceptionally—a piece of meat. Her still lives are complimented by a few portraits of marketwomen and traders. With the pictures of Tempora Morte in her first photobook, Lia Darjes aims to develop a relationship of the classical still life genre with contemporary documentary photography.

‘Tempora Morte’ will be published by Hartmann Projects, Stuttgart