Romain Mader, 2012-16
Mariage á Loèche-les-Bains (Marriage in Leukerbad) from the series Ekaterina
This selfie depicts Romain Mader with his wife: it’s the end of the artist’s alter ego’s search of a wife. He started his mission in Ukraine, in an imaginary city mysteriously populated only by women, all named Ekaterina, and each hoping to find a rich western husband. In an utterly naïve narration by Romain about his search for the one and only Ekaterina, a series of stereotypes take the stage, from Mader performing as an oblivious western sex tourist, to interchangeable Ukrainian brides, up to the “typical” Soviet backdrop to the whole quest for love. The gap between preconceived ideas about a place like Ukraine and its reality is what is constantly exploited to the point of absurdity in Mader’s work. In a photographic language that perfectly employs the conventions of documentary photography, the confusion between what is fictitious and what is real – or what seems real – ultimately arises as a goal in itself.
© Romain Mader, courtesy of the Foam Collection