Uldus Bakhtiozina. Miss Future – 未來小姐
Uldus Bakhtiozina was born in a family with mixed religions and nationalities: a Muslim Tatars father, and a Christian half-Ukrainian mother. In her work, she often explores folklore and fairytales, but also challenges stereotypes. She was the first Russian TED-speaker in history, and was chosen as one of the Top 100 Women of Year by the BBC in 2014. In 2016, she was named Best Fashion Photographer by Vogue Italy.
Her first professional work as a photographer was a series of ironic self-portraits, which she created during her studies at the University of the Arts in London. Her main intention was to expose stereotypes around nationality, gender, social issues, etc. However, she always does this in a way that is both ironic and infused with magic mysticism.
At SEEN, we meet Uldus Bakhtiozina in a new installation entitled ‘Miss Future – 未來小姐’. Uldus often plays a character – as a form of escapism but also to bring across a sharper message. The artist holds a degree in politics, and this influences some of her work, as is the case in ‘Miss Future’. The installation is informed by the relation between Russia and China, which has been very difficult in the past. Today, everywhere we look, China seems to be taking over the world. It is the world’s largest manufacturing economy and exporter of goods; all objects and clothes we buy – no matter where – seem to be ‘Made in China’, and it has an extremely elaborate market in copied versions of big brands. All eyes are on China – waiting to see what the future holds.
‘Miss Future’ overlooks the current world, as a kind of broadcaster or spokesperson for a changing and challenging society. She herself is a vision of the future – a manufactured, reconstructed, copied version of a person – at all times she sees and is seen, yet she is apparently also missing. Because of her many different guises, the search for ‘Miss Future’ will prove to be a difficult one.
This project is supported by Anna Nova Gallery.