“The world is equivocal for a man, just like equivocal could be human attitude.
Human attitude is equivocal, just like equivocal could be basic words uttered by him.
Basic words are word pairs rather than single words”.
The basic word is “I–You”.

Martin Buber


The End | The Beginning


A man is born, and there surfaces the question of his Existence. In our relatively short stream of consciousness, which we commonly call life, we try to find out something not only about the world around us but more about ourselves. We want to delve into that matter, why I regard myself as “I” and what is the true meaning of “You”. We create Art although in the so-called reality we could be the result of it – without our awareness… Irrespective of the eternal dilemma of an arche, we search for the various solutions which will help us to understand the ultimate core of the human existence, which is linked to the fundamental questions: where we come from and where we are going. Along the way, we come across a plethora of impressions, which means that our life – whatever it is – is constantly flooded with kaleidoscopic thoughts and feelings. When in doubt, we look for words, because they are always at hand. However, with time passing, we are unable to understand multi-layered meanings hidden in the text we had read before. It gets paradoxical, because it can breathes life into us – the lack of apparent understanding makes us ablr to unleash our potential necessary to go off the beaten track. What is essential for our civiliation is the quest to “find the answer”; it is because of those stimuli that we are eager to overcome our limitations and go beyond what is known to us. We are capable of being nobly brave – we can do acts of kindness, the results of which can overcome even the worst harm. This modus operandi helps us change the world – by the changing ourselves. Unfortunately, the self-fulfilment which we pursue often turns out to be completely different – we fall into a trap of the avarice and intemperance which can lead only to an ordinary cruelty. The worst harm we can do to The Other Human Being is to reduce his subjectivity to a commodity status. Because of the fact that all evil is a result of an indifference caused by rampant ignorance, all the kindness turns out to be resulting from an openness to an enigmatic Being One Comes Across; it is worth notice that by opening ourselves to The Other Person, who is similarly troubled by existence, we can discern our more reliable ego (“I”).

We are not capable of answering the question of who or what we are – especially when categories and notions are taken into account. Our trajectory of life is characterised by unimaginable fear, which – while trying to stifle an incomprehensible Silence – gives out a piercing scream towards the Universe. This phenomenon turns out to truly exemplify our existential trauma and the fear of elapsing time. The phenomenon of Being, which has been tamed by seconds, days and years, gradually spirals out of illusory control imposed on it – which we term as knowledge.

As a result of looking towards, we do not perceive with the same eyes, we are not beings we used to be… Seconds make us distance from ourselves – so as to consistently get us closer to The Source: to the Energy, to a mysterious Being – hided under the facade of our conditioning – and to that Being which will shortly appear as the only and true Reflection of ourselves.

E.P.I.T.A.P.H.I.U.M. is a vibrant and everlasting Energy, which simultaneously provokes us to focus on the real Dialogue – Dialogue based on ontically anchored structures. It is only because of it that we become closer to ourselves and uncover the truth hidden within, that is a pure and mighty Abstraction, where logical boundaries have no standing and slip away.


Łódź, 04th of April 2014
Anna Kyra Issaïeff


Z…[ ◉ ]…NE


A petal has fallen
It got scared of spring breeze
A flower is in front of me

13th of March 2013, 12:01


I am looking at photographs which were taken by me during the early spring; I am asking myself a question – is what I perceive the imagery illusion or does it amount to contrariness to reality “around” me? Is ubiquitous world condition is harmonious with us and intended, or are we destined merely to regard ourselves as Free Beings?

“I – We – The World” – they are defunct words only, created for meaning-driven purposes; illusory barrier meant to elevate a human being to godlike status. Vanity has become ingrained among people – latent truth denial has been irrevocable in our intricately patterned civilization. What I mean is not a platitude repeatedly produced by manipulation machinery, commonly known as civilization; I do not mean an empty tag intentionally used for the sake of vacuous intellectual consumerism and inner emptiness. People deprived the notion of “value” its original meaning, they embedded their own preconcerted imagery into the world and conditioned themselves into treating this dubious structure as a benchmark – due to great care given to vanity, as well as celebration of it. An crazy idea was born – that the afirmation of the vanity should be cherished by others. The others in turn will forward to their successors – those who have not been born yet – their inheritance by giving them the above attitude.

The garden of Eden dogma is still fettered by rampant and decayed life; the world of human codes is dangerous. We strive for individuality, but our perception of what we call “reality” gets ensnared in vastness of uniformity. The rigid structure of “subiectum” is dissolving before our eyes; we confront yet another cliché which has been expertly conceived with regard to here and now. Mass media through the promoting death veiled as “life” has been laying a trap for dependent and confused people – we witness of the gravediggers getting more and more interested in living beings.

Language itself is reminiscent of the slavery system upon which an enormous structure of conventions and customs is being built – people themselves serve only as pawns trying to win the game where free death is the stake.

This world of illusion that we cling to turns out to be nothing but rubbish as opposed to the world draped in the truth that seems to be impossible to reach by us. Each photograph being presented here accounts for a metaphor of a human being entangled in a well-known, utterly distant world.

Łódź, 13th of March 2014, 7:30 pm
Anna Kyra Issaïeff


XI.X.MMXI – The S!X Windows

“Irrespective of how much a work of art might seem to be a historical fact and thus a possible subject of scientific study, it is important for it alone to tell us something. Moreover, this process of recounting should never be limited to notions “.

H.G. Gadamer


Multitude of possibilities, multiplicity of solutions.


Understanding of the reality around us is often conditioned by our perception. When we see something, we try to bring clarity to undersized. We try to fix the item or phenomenon within the “permissible”. Both for us – involved in the perception of the phenomenon, as well as people who memorize this phenomenon as a term which is corresponding in a certain way. As a result of this process there emerges an image to which we succumb, because it is seemingly “well-known”. In fact, we are under the illusion – we know something by comprehending ”well-known” in our own way. We unconsciously follow the same trend and, as a result, we gradually get trapped in intellectual consumerism. In fact, what surrounds us is a continuous potential of something we actually don’t know. Therefore, – being a part of a whole that surrounds us – we are also unknown to ourselves.

Going further – closer unknown will also constitute all our creations to a greater or lesser degree.

The first question arising from this statement is: DO they exist?
Secondly: WHAT are they?
The follow-up question is: What does it mean that something EXISTS?

This is one of the fundamental questions which will probably still remain with us for a long time. We can, however, by all means try to capture at least a fragment of WHAT IS. In the end, these attempts are the tangible testimony to our conscious existence. Each person interprets it in their own specific way, as everybody is a separate and unique part of a whole – that which exists. One has to bear in mind not to omit the scrutiny of oneself while taking part in this specific voyage on the mirage of reality. Since if we really want to get to know the world surrounding us, we also need to set forth on a difficult and dangerous journey of self-discovery.

Hermeneutics of the word.
Multilevel nature based on one dimension.

My goal being manifested by this idea ( and through these artworks ) is to show how many syntheses and possible solutions can be included in a single phenomenon of the aesthetic phenomenon. Epistemology of one impression experiencing multitude of its possibilities with different features.


Anna Kyra Issaïeff
September 2011


Mirrors of awareness 
While watching new works of Anna Issaieff, I originally succumbed to a very simple autosuggestion that what she presents is only a kind of kaleidoscope-related game. However, such tentative association leaves a person wanting for much more. There arise questions – Do I perceive at first glance what I should really see? Does the author, playing the game of watching the world through a simple mechanism of mirrors – through the seeming play – encourage the perceiver to engage in a mutual dialogue? There is no doubt that this particular facade may be a sort of a specific pitfall created by the author herself. This is how she describes these works: “When we see something, we try to bring clarity to non-dimensional phenomena. We try to set a given thing or phenomenon within something “acceptable””. I would add “within something understandable”, because, by means of consciousness and even subconsciousness, we have embedded reality in our brains which is known for us as a rule. Therefore, works of Anna Issaieff seem to be exceptionally simple at first glance. As I already mentioned, this is a pitfall for unwary perceivers who don’t want to ponder over the author’s motivation and the aim of her presentation. In the so-called second reading of her photographs entitled The S!X Windows, I can see a suggestive and a little annoying symmetry, images “reflect” my eyesight similarly to a mirror and make me confront my mental images. It becomes clear that her new photographs stimulate our perception but not by colloquial notions or simple action narrative. They engage us in a dialogue with ourselves, also with our subconsciousness. Trying to understand the author’s intention, we don’t look at her new pictures as literal kaleidoscope images any longer. We discover hidden meanings. Thanks to her photographs, we begin to question our subjectivity of perception and our own understanding of the world. Works of Anna Issaieff are a positive provocation which makes us reconsider the condition of our imagination. Don’t we, like others, have identical ideas about reality and, in consequence, are these ideas stereotypical? Don’t we perceive reality through borrowed images, imposed by aggressive advertising and the mass media? Let us follow the author’s suggestion and delve into our imagination, deep into our “bank of images” and let us redefine our current understanding of the world just to stay ourselves – to discover our own personal image and self-judgment.

Grzegorz Przyborek
Łódź 5.10.2011




The space of Time

When we try to get the answer to such a simple question: „Who are we and where we are going to” – we immediately turn to patch up this inconvenient gap which is connected with the lack of both: bright and concrete response. In order to keep our balance we frantically try to grab well-known notions. What is more, we try to poke about for those long-forgotten things, and we constantly invent new words. However due to the stormy and unnatural live to which we are condemned to by a disease associated with the progress of civilization – all attempts to face/ deal with this fundamental problem, frequently appear to be simply impossible. We do not have time due to the fact that everything around us happens so fast. When we slow down a little bit in order to live in peace for a moment, at least, we find out that our life has just been flying through our fingers. So we are still preoccupied but on things that are not so important. Finally, when we manage to come to this conclusion the merciless time reveals its true nature. And just then the man, finally, is ready to pay his attention to the question about the meaning of life. But also after that it often turns out that it is too late for trying to give us an answer – and usually a man cannot even answer to this question.
Maybe sometime later… Somewhere else…

What if even there the time will still have its place …?

THE EYE object is a living monument showing directly the course of time. The recipient can systematically participate in its transformations and unconsciously become the next integral part of THE EYE.


Anna Kyra Issaïeff
14.09.2012, Lodz



I through surroundings – My reflection in the constructions of reality

“The mood is an emotional state lasting usually for hours, days or weeks. Sometimes it is only the background with lower intensity. Often it is difficult to say when it ends, when it starts. The mood differs from emotions because it is often aimless and not-oriented. Events, which usually occur in our lives, cause the fluctuations of emotional reactions up and down. But when we consider a longer term, it will be shown that in case of the specific person the mood will be continued on her average level. In other words, each of us has a dominant mood.”

P. Englicht


When we encounter the subject of the most unstable vision of ourselves, which is built from emotions, we face the problem of its interpretation. On the one hand, we explore/ identify the area which consists of emotions such as: the ocean of unpredictability, the universe of illusion. If these feelings are spinning at high force the sober and detached view on reality is affected. Simultaneously this world is our huge treasury of fleeting feelings.

If they persist longer – they pass into the element of mood.

On the other hand, the uniquely schematic feelings are ascribed to each person, which form the basis for a particular mood and at the same time appear as the main component of the characterological skeleton of the particular person. In fact, these are two interdependent worlds – if there were no emotions there would be no sinusoid of mood, and if there were no foundation, which is the mood, the components of the latter, such as emotions, wouldn’t be able to exist.

Sometimes it’s very complicated to distinguish between them and – because of clear intensification of one – it’s simply impossible.

This happening was a reaction of participants who belonged to the specific environment. There was no way of showing emotion by facial expressions and body language – participants who referred to the palpable elements of reality had to try to describe themselves through the lens of camera.

They made an attempt to define and to show us their own unique mood through the spatial structures around them trying to reduce the emotional disorder that have emerged from the unique mood canvas.


Anna Issaieff   Lodz, 13th May 2010




( . . . )





As it would be impolite not to say a few words of the introduction so welcome and thank you for coming in order to participate in this event.

Let us start with the important question: What is the meaning of the portrait? The main definition, which is taken from the area of general public mass media, gives us this information: the work as being an image of the person which is showing us her personality traits (sometimes). Does this definition indeed relate to the meaning of the full portrait.?
The truth of a portrait is based on fundament that it can tell its own unique story to each recipient through itself without any unnecessary tricks. If we have an external picture of a person even with slight personality traits, it isn’t the authentic portrait. However, this can be only the outline, sometimes nicely composed and technically well done job. It is only a clear presentation without the power of voice. Then an author just takes away that voice from the certain depiction of the given person making it impossible to ascribe it to the category of the portrait.

The portrait is something more than external appearance and the outline of personality traits. So if the picture reaches the category of the portrait it must show us the depth of the concrete person – the universe of a person – this is the unique voice of him and this treasure cannot be taken away from him.

That voice is some kind of soul.

As long as the man without the soul is not the man, the portrait without its power of speech is not the portrait. Following all mentioned above, I want to free that voice and give it back to its owners in a different form so as to let the person BE.

Thank you one more time for your participation, and thanks for keeping an eye on my reflections.


4th June 2008
Anna Issaieff



Whose face is this, whose space?

Defining one’s own space, not only in art, equals grasping one’s artistic identity. Once we have learned ourselves, we know who and where we are, once we can touch ourselves and reach out our hands, that is when we incorporate and annex what surrounds us, all we can understand. And when we take a camera we can reach further, into the deep, into the darkness, into ourselves, into the never-ending distance, imaginary and even more incomprehensible.

In her photography, Anna Issaieff searches for her own identity and space. Her photographs seem to scrutinize the reality, but not just to confirm what we already know and how we perceive it. Her photographs touch the shadow, the mysterious blackness in a photo which has no borders, blackness that surrounds and permeates. The blackness in her photographs asks a question of the end of her world. Her way of taking photos bears likeness to staging, however, unlike the self-portraits of Cindy Sherman, Ania’s photos are not film or theatrical ones. They are like questions asking further questions. In one of her photographs the author covers her face with her hand, in another all we can see is her shadow, in another – her gaze into the lenses seems slightly mistrustful, as if testing the viewer’s response. As if the author asked us a conscious question regarding her whereabouts,her being, as well as where the borders of reaching her world lie. Something unknown, ephemeral emanates from in her photographs. In some of her photos bird feathers become a symbol of fragility and caducity, whereas in others a hand gesture may symbolize a dialogue or silence. Two opposites meet here: security and insecurity, white and black, signs of lights looming in darkness and the intangible time.

Does one need to have self-awareness, the awareness of being an artist? Perhaps, but surely the way to discovering oneself is much more interesting than reaching this aim. Self-confidence often shows lack of awareness or a sheer lie. The value of Ania Issaieff photography lies in her perpetual attempts to define herself and find borders of her personal space. I truly recommend Ania’s questioning insecurity. She keeps a spider in a jar, a rat in a cage and a cat in her house, but she herself exists in a wider space than her creatures. She tests this world with her photographs, the world which she faces, which she sometimes describes with insecurity or hesitation.


Grzegorz Przyborek
20th April 2008



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Anna K. J. Issaïeff
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