Masha Pryven

I could never sleep when the moon was full

These images were made in 2020 and were accompanied by physical and mental isolation that suddenly became global. Scenarios of uncertainty and predictions of apocalypse dominated public and private discourse. One of many anxieties was a shortage of materials because of supply chain disruptions. Some thought there would be no more film produced, which would mean the end of analog photography.

My photos were created in this context with a self-made pinhole camera, and they were then combined with my other analog photos. The whole process of image-making — from building a camera, developing and scanning films, and photographing the images — was a one-person show. A year later, these photo collages served as inspiration for a Polish-German writer, Ewa Maria Slaska, who wrote a short story based on these images. In this way, the self-contained nature of these photos was finally interrogated and transformed by another person’s voice. The title of her story became the title for my photos.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Masha Pryven grew up in Lugansk, Ukraine, and studied at Kyiv Linguistic University. In 2009, she received a USA Fulbright Graduate Award and continued her studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where she received an M.A. in Literature. Since 2014, she has lived and worked in Berlin. Her first book of photography, The Way to Combray, was published by edition frölich in 2022. She is a member of Ebene, a Berlin art collective.