Evgenia Arbugaeva

Evgenia Arbugaeva

Returning to My Childhood

"It was the moment when the Arctic was sleeping. But it will wake up again." Meet the young Siberian photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva in this interview about her project "Tiksi", nostalgic postcards from the imagination of a young girl.

Is it possible to return to childhood? As a girl, Evgenia Arbugaeva (b. 1985) grew up in the Siberian town of Tiksi, which she then had to leave when she was just 8 years old. 18 years later she returned to search for the landscape of her childhood, where she had been as happy as never again, she says. It seemed like a fairy tale, but it was reality. The light, the scenery, the colors, and the moments of pure childhood imagination.

What started out as a personal trip, then developed into a photographic project. Evgenia Arbugaeva met the girl Tanya, that reminded her of herself as a young girl. Tanyas life and family became the personification of the past.

"Tiksi" though is much more than the personal hunt for a lost childhood. Since 1991, the year, Evgenia Arbugaeva and her family left the town of Tiksi, the Russian Arctic has changed dramatically. Once a symbol of Soviet ambition to conquer the arctic, the town of Tiksi today is nearly abandoned, the number of inhabitants has been reduced from 12.000 to 4.000. Tiksi thus also becomes a symbol of the decline of the Russian arctic, sharing that fate with many small town in the arctic region. "The reality of the place is pretty sad", Arbugaeva states and reflects about her own images being "almost too sweet and too naive" a representation of reality. But this one time it is all right, she adds: "I wanted to document the place from the perspective of a young girl, being unaware of the big politics around her".

Russian Evgenia Arbugaeva (b.1985) graduated from the International Center of Photography in New York in 2009. In 2012 she received the Bright Spark award in the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Competition for emerging photographers, and a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Grant. In 2013 she was named one of the award winning magazine Photo District National's 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch and she won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award at the Rencontres International de la Photographie festival in Arles, France.

Evgenia Arbugaeva was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner. Her series "Tiksi" is part of the exhibition "ARCTIC" at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Music by: Björk
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Bunny Rogers

    Mourning Youth

    “You can’t make objective art, it’s going to be subjective.” Watch the praised artist Bunny Rogers (b. 1990) talk about creating autobiographical work that draws from memory and deals with her childhood by archiving her feelings from that time.

  • Ed Atkins

    Something is Missing

    Ed Atkins is considered one of the most unsettling contemporary artists – as well as one of the most exciting. In this video, the young British artist shares how he works from written texts, and why melancholy is at the centre of his animated digital videos.

  • Louisa Gagliardi

    Longing for Something Else

    “Art is amazing because it’s in a way unnecessary, but extremely necessary as a testimony of its time.” Let us introduce you to a rising star of painting, Louisa Gagliardi, who creates her surreal work digitally and adds layers of paint to the printed image.

  • Hannah Levy

    A Design Purgatory

    “I wonder if the reason why people want to touch it is that they’re in some way attracted to it, or if they’re repulsed by it.” Meet the young artist Hannah Levy, who primarily makes sculptures combining curving steel forms with cast silicone.

  • Dora Budor

    Acting Things

    “I want to use art as a field where I can explore parallel scenarios.” Dora Budor makes complex sculptures and interactive installations inspired by cinematic metaverse and scientific research. Join us as we visit the young Croatian artist in her studio.

  • Ian Cheng

    A Portal to Infinity

    Watch Ian Cheng, a rising star on the art scene, talk about his trilogy of animated live simulation works – ‘Emissaries’ – which work like a never-ending video game in real time: “It was a process that was on-going as life is on-going.”

  • Yona Friedman

    Advice to the Young

    What piece of advice would a renowned 94-year-old architect offer young architects? Find out in this short video, where Yona Friedman argues that architects must always adapt to the context and work for the average user.

  • Jan Gehl

    How to Build a Good City

    “We now know that first, we form the cities, but then the cities form us.” Meet the 81-year-old Danish architect Jan Gehl, who for more than fifty years has focused on improving the quality of urban life by helping people “re-conquer the city.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.