Elena Kaufmann

I was born on May 25, 1985, in Vorkuta/Russia. I grew up in Saint Petersburg, a place full of magic. This city has not only remained my home. So much happened there. This city on the Neva gave me everything that makes up a young person. I carried it in my veins, its energy, history and speed. I brought all of that with me to Erfurt in 2012.

During my photography studies, the lectures from Yuri Kozyrev and Sergey Maximishin awakened in me a big interest for documentary photography. The person who had been the center of my attention until now was now appearing more and more often in situations of capturing reality. In 2019 I had the privilege of being a student of the MAGNUM photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov in Paris - an intense experience that has given me one of the most important impulses in my photography career so far. I admire him because he is a man who is not afraid to stand up for his truth and inspired me to love and live mine. I always had trouble capturing people the way they want to see themselves. No, my portraits will not become their Facebook profile photos. I look for what is hidden in people. For this I often see people tearing up and hear: Yes, that's me. This means a lot to me, because it means I have probably found it and can show how beautiful we are when we do not bury ourselves behind the thicket of "having to appear a certain way to the outside world". How wonderful it is not to have to constantly protect yourself and just be there as and your true self. I love reaching the point in the conversation where the person is being natural and open with me, with all their wounds, their concerns, and their search for happiness. During this moment, an energy arises that briefly makes me think, I understand the world after all… 2018 habe ich mein erstes großes Kunstprojekt „Ein Jahr mit dem Stern“ über eine Jüdische Gemeinde ausgestellt. Die Arbeit an dem Projekt hat viel in mir bewegt und so entschied ich mich, dies zu vertiefen und mit meinem neuen Projekt "Der Weiße Faden" eine neue Dimension zu schaffen. Die Verknüpfung von Frau und Religiosität in nur einem Foto - und nur mit dem Fokus auf das Tief-Menschliche und Persönliche, auf Sehnsüchte, auf Erfahrungen, auf Gefühle, ohne Zeichen, ohne Rituale, ohne Titel. Pure Menschen. Pure Frauen.

We can try, but alone we often spin in a closed circle and linger in one place. I am very grateful to have been working together with two talented people for several years: Antje-Maria Lochthofen and Martin Kaufmann, to learn from both, to grow and to appreciate unlimitedly to have the two by my side.

Address and communication

Brühler Straße 40a
99084 Erfurt