Anna Bundeleva “The Visible Mother” (9-23.10)


“The Visible Mother” is an interactive project that exists in the form of a series of collages and a leporello photobook, offering viewers to literally “restore the faces” of mothers present but hidden behind curtains, under cloaks, or disguised as chairs or other objects in the studio with their roles reduced to holding their babies due to the long expose times of early cameras.

Such photography formed a specific genre called “hidden mother photography” and was popular in the late XIX – early XX centuries. In my project, I consider this phenomenon from feminist and gestalt psychology perspectives. Mothers return to the fabric of both photographs and history through archetypes – a variety of female or male, animalistic or symbolic images with fragments of famous artists’ paintings and different textures, cartoon characters and prominent art figures, etc among them. The number of such “alternates” is unlimited. Freedom and variability in the choice of elements for this conditional restoration act adds a game component and offers a wide range of gestalt closure “content”. Each child should have one’s own mother – whatever or whoever she is. Here, the emphasis is on the very fact of visibility – now tangible and recognizable, and not on what exactly we see as mothers’ faces.

The set of “hidden mother” photographs has been intentionally left black and white in order to keep the copies as close to the original plates of the late XIX century as possible, whereas for the inserts I have deliberately focused on color – as an additional way to emphasize the opposition between achromatic facelessness and the diversity of individualizing spectrum variations.  The same opposition remains in the choice of the photobook cover – here its bright floral pattern contrasts with that of neutral curtains or  cloaks that hide the mothers’. Conditionally feminine, new textures enhance the function of mothers’ faces restoration in photographs.

Project presented as part of “Be a Lady” exhibition 

Anna Bundeleva

Born 29/ 11/ 1986

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.

2004- 2009  entered and graduated the Faculty NIMST (National Institute of Management for Social Technologies), Arts Department of Belarusian State University on specialty “Design”.

Solo exhibitions:

2013 “Umbu Ungu. Ethnographic hunger”. Gallery Y, small hall/ Minsk, Belarus

Group exhibitions:

2014 “Genetic memory of the female body”. Palace of Art/ Minsk, Belarus

2015 “Selfie”/ “My imaginary collar”. Palace of Art/ Minsk, Belarus

2016 “To be like “I”. Gallery Y/ Minsk, Belarus

2016 “Subjective reality”. Gallery Y/ Minsk, Belarus

2017 “The best site”/VEHA/ Month of photography/ Minsk, Belarus

2018 “Native Case”/ “Extended family”. National Center of Contemporary Art/ Minsk, Belarus

2018 “Mater Materia”/ “Genetic memory of the female body”. KX Space/ Brest/ Belarus

2018 “Delayed action-1″/ “Delayed action”. Studio 1+1/Workstudio of artists Mikhail Gulin and Antonina Slobodchikova/ Minsk, Belarus

2019 “Delayed action-2″/ “Tabula Rasa”. Studio 1+1/Workstudio of artists Mikhail Gulin and Antonina Slobodchikova/ Minsk, Belarus

2019 Booked:Hong Kong Art Book Fair at Tai Kwun Contemporary. “Visible mothers” project

2020 “Restricted areas”/ “We will never cross each other”. KX Space/ Brest/ Belarus


I work in collage technique, installation, video and mixed media. I seek and combine different artistic means: embroidery, graphics, archival photographs, natural and artificial materials.

My main topics in art are archival, family photographs, documents and albums. And also the personalities to which they belong. Important issues are genetic memory, physicality and psychosomatics, which I also reflect on with the help of art.