Varya Kozhevnikova is a visual artist, born in 1988 and based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She graduate at the Academy of Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Fotografika (St. Petersburg, Russia). Varya uses her photography to tell a personal story. She is a participant of collective photo and photo-books festivals in Russia and Europe such as Helsinki Photo Festival, Athens Photo Festival, Photobookfest Festival in Moscow, Presence festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Lera Pavlikova was born in 2006. She is a secondary school student in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She is Varya Kozhevnikova’s daughter. She worked on the project 13.31 in collaboration with her mother Varya.
I gave birth to my daughter when I was 17 years old. People often say that we look like sisters, relatives can’t tell one from another when they see us from the back. Everyone says, that Lera resembles me in appearance and character. The difference in our ages is not that big, so I thought we could grow closer to each other because of that.
In difficult moments with my mother, I promised myself that I would never be a mother like her. I would be a more sensitive and understanding person. But the older my daughter was getting, the more I realized that I was becoming my mother’s copy. When I was 31 and Lera was 13, our clothes and shoes became the same size, the game “what if I were you” started between us. It was an experiment to find a new form of "mother - teenage daughter" relationships. We have been exchanging clothes and roles. This wasn’t always a fun game. In these photographs, our attempts is to underline differences and similarities between us. The project is about recognizing yourself in another person, is about the struggle with similarity, the separation and the general human desire to get closer to one another.
I have eaten my mother.