Fate Shifts Shapes
by Nicholas Muellner, Anzhelina Polonskaya,
Sasha Rudensky and Clemens von Wedemeyer
48 pages / 6 foldouts
6 x8.75 in. / saddle-stitched
21 color illustrations
Luminaire cloth / foil stamped cover
Design by Elana Schlenker
Spaces Corners, 2016
published in collaboration with
Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
Fate Shifts Shapes folds the viewer into a darkly obscure, emotionally charged encounter with contemporary Russian experience. This catalog-as-artist’s book adapts works by Nicholas Muellner, Anzhelina Polonskaya, Sasha Rudensky and Clemens von Wedemeyer into a fluid sequence of images and poems that obscure and reveal one another. Collectively, they dramatize the ways some vulnerable individuals – particularly women, gay men and economic migrants – must shape their identities around the inexorable social and cultural forces of a conservative society.
Fate excludes rationalism in favor of destiny. Accordingly, this book rejects documentary realism to theatrically present individuals acting on and submitting to the demands of providence. Fate Shifts Shapes embraces extravagance, glamour, melancholy and tragedy to relay these quintessentially Russian dramas.
Fate Shifts Shapes was inspired by the 2016 exhibition curated by Nicholas Muellner for the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, with work produced in Russia, Ukraine and Russian-occupied Crimea, as well as works that imagine or stage that universe.