In my childhood, the primary source of information was television. It shaped my worldview, serving as an authority that could explain anything and was impossible to argue with.
I only encountered mysticism once — someone told me that a woman had seen a UFO near my house. I was scared. I feared that aliens would take me and conduct experiments on me. During those moments, I would try to imagine what exactly that woman may have experienced.
The media outlets often build fear of the unexplained and distort our perception of reality. The study conducted in 2018 by “Medialogia” and “Vedomosti” showed — Russian media increasingly divided into the world of conspiracy theories. They actively propagate global conspiracy theories that explain all events as the actions of secret forces: aliens, psychics, fictional stories, etc. State channels use political conspiracy theories to manipulate public opinion. People who believe in conspiracy theories trust those who exercise those theories professionally. For them, it’s a way to organize the chaos and to find meaning in coincidences.
I think these childhood horror stories influenced my perception of reality. I still tremble in fear when I find myself in the dark, even if I understand that nothing threatens me and that no one will grab me by the leg and drag me into the woods.
Once I stumbled upon an internet text about the Sandov Triangle — a mystical area located near my hometown. It turned out that a TV show called “Secret Territories” by the REN TV channel talked about it. The show consisted of several stories in which scientists tried to explain the mysterious events that occurred there. Local residents also gave interviews to the hosts of the show and talked about a huge red flying ball, a ghost of a girl in the woods, technical malfunctions with the compass in the village of Tukhani, and so on.
I decided to study this mysterious area and went to the Sandov Triangle.
In this project, I interpret the stories of “Secret Territories” and transfer conspiracy theories into real life. Through photography, I try to overcome my childhood fears. Thus, I ask the question: why, in an environment where there is no supernatural, do I live with such a large number of unfounded fears?
«There have been rumors about the Sandov Triangle for a long time. Supposedly, in the forest, the clock stops and the compass goes haywire. And it is located northeast of Sandovo, between three villages: Bolshoe Nikitino, Matveytsevo and Tukhani. The worst thing is that in this mysterious „triangle“ people disappear from time to time. Some of them disappear without a trace. And others are found dead...»
An excerpt from the article «Komsomolskaya Pravda»
(b. 1992, Ustyuzhna, Russia) is a contemporary artist and independent photographer based in St. Petersburg. Viktoria studied photography at the Academy of Documentary and Art Photography "Fotografika", where she produced two photo books and a zine. Her work is included in the collection of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia). Victoria works with themes of personal and collective memory, using photography as a method to explore the connection between the self, the spectrum of personal issues and relationships. Her work not only reflects the world around her, but also becomes an introspective study of the artist herself. In her work, Victoria uses alternative printing techniques, film and digital photography, as well as performative acts.