Rena Effendi: Liquid Land

Liquid Land is co-authored with my father Rustam Effendi, a dissident scientist and entomologist who devoted his life to studying, hunting and collecting over 90,000 butterflies in the Soviet Union. Inherited by the Azerbaijani State Institute of Zoology after his death in 1991, his vast collection has disintegrated. Alongside thousands of glass boxes filled with butterfly dust, the only remaining visual evidence of his life’s work is the fifty photographs of endangered butterflies for a manuscript he never published. Next to my father’s dead, but iridescent butterflies, my photographs show life in some of the world’s most polluted areas, near Baku, where I was born and grew up. In my mind, the contrasting images gravitate towards each other – as I have to my father.

Azerbaijan – 

Liquid Land is co-authored with my father Rustam Effendi, a dissident scientist and entomologist who devoted his life to studying, hunting and collecting over 90,000 butterflies in the Soviet Union. Inherited by the Azerbaijani State Institute of Zoology after his death in 1991, his vast collection has disintegrated. Alongside thousands of glass boxes filled with butterfly dust, the only remaining visual evidence of his life’s work is the fifty photographs of endangered butterflies for a manuscript he never published.

Next to my father’s dead, but iridescent butterflies, my photographs show life in some of the world’s most polluted areas, near Baku, where I was born and grew up. In my mind, the contrasting images gravitate towards each other – as I have to my father. Since working on this book I have gotten to know him much better than when he was alive. Salty Waters is the translation from Persian of the “Ab-sheuran” Peninsula; in and around Baku, its main city, the earth is breathing with petroleum fumes, as oil oozes to the surface, turning it liquid. The Caspian Sea hugs the eagle-beak shaped land, salting its gas-pocked soil.

 

Rena-Effendi-Liquid-Land-8

 

I photograph the barren, liquid land of Absheron – its environmental and urban decay, its people living amidst the chaos of industrial pollution. My father’s work was in the fresh mountain air. The butterflies that he hunted since he was a boy are spectacular in their symmetry. Carefully placed on plants, they shine with vibrant colours, yet he had to kill each one of them for a picture, piercing his microscopic pins through them.”

 

Design: MV LevievanderMeer, Amsterdam

ISBN 978 90 5330 789 2

Format: 17 x 24 cm (portrait)
Hardbound
112 pages with approx.

Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam

Photography

 

Related Posts

Maciej Pestka: The Life of Psy

Ireland –   “Representatives of major fashion brands went crazy, girls threw themselves into his arms, and drinks flower like waterfalls. …

Colin Pantall on Christoph Bangert “War Porn”

Germany – During the Spanish war with Napoleonic France, Francisco Goya made The Disasters of War. In three series of …

Zhang Xiao Coastline China

Zhang Xiao: Exploring the Coastline of China

China –  Photography feature – Zhang Xiao started his journey from 2009-2013 along the coastline of China. China has long …

Tiane Doan na Champassak: Dick 999

India –    THIS STORY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT Dick 999 published by RVB Books is a collection of anonymous photographs …

Spotlight on the Sexually Violent– Tim Matsui

U.S.A. – Multimedia journalist Tim Matsui calls himself a storyteller. And once you’ve taken a look at his work, you …

Jan Brykczynski: “Boiko” – Exploring the Rural Reality of Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains

Poland – Those Boikos are the most mysterious tribe the length and breadth of the Carpathians. No-one else is quite …

Kodama- Hajime Kimura

Japan – 12th March, 2008, cloudy “The river in the bottom of the ravine was half frozen. It was a …

Open Books: Post-War Artist Books at Paris Photo 2014

France –  Each one of the books presented here has been created with the urge to formulate a unique artistic …

The Lens of Persia – Abbas

‘IRAN. Shahr Rey. 1997. Four seater motorbike’ Iran – Famous for his sheer aesthetic intellect, rational sense of work and …