Each petal is an illusion and each thorn a reality. (Alfred de Musset)

We all view the world through our personal distortions. Optics of cognitive biases, memories, and propaganda. Can the realm of crooked mirrors be rectified? Could global harmony arise from a unified perspective? What if new technologies enable this?

Eva Vasilyeva frequently incorporates diverse literary references into her artistic practice. The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling, a science fiction story by Ted Chiang became the impetus for her Optics photo project. The idea is that perhaps the exact truth is useful and vital, but also that the emotional truth – through Optics – should not be disregarded. The triptych with Japanese quince branches, where only young shoots bear thorns, explores the phenomenon of distorted childhood memories as a basis of human individuality and perhaps one of the main conditions for the diversity of society.

If we cannot eliminate distortional optics to save diversity, how not get lost in illusions? Thorns in the Optics project represent a complex pictorial form. Eva Vasilyeva imparts symbolic depth and practical guidance against illusionary entanglements. No matter the distortion, thorns remain thorns. Pain is a natural and reliable conductor. Dan Simmons’ novel Hyperion (on the example of a tribe Three Score and Ten) depicts how people, upon becoming immortal and losing their sense of pain, lose their humanity.

Via polytychs with an emphasis on color, Eva Vasilyeva explores the concept of optics as a political tool. The Paris-based photographer has Russian-Ukrainian roots, so she has been delving into the information landscape of the military conflict. The series Optics urges not to ignore the fact that new technologies and media resources do not help people find the truth, but contribute to the spread of a large amount of disinformation, often under the influence of political propaganda. It is important to remember that war is always a huge tragedy, no matter what colors (colors of whose flag) it was painted with. Stop the war!

Eva Vasilyeva aspires to a future where emerging technologies catalyze democracy, peace, and safeguarding diversity.

Edition of 10 plus 2 artist’s proofs (including all formats). Each fine art print is numbered, signed, and delivered with a Hahnemühle certificate of authenticity. Formats and frames on request.

© Eva Vasilyeva 2023