"I always had a problem with my name being so common. If you search my name on the web, the first thing you will find will be a belly dancer, following by all sorts of girls with cheesy smiles (or in explicit poses). At first I hated that. But if you have something that bothers you, you have to work with it, process it, and use it to create a work."
Project The Incomplete Princess Book created by Russian-Dutch artist Irina Popova is a virtual journey to Russia: a new way of meeting people (trough browsing their profiles) and a new way of photographing them (using the images found on the internet). For this project artist used the Russian version of Facebook – Vkontakte.
Social networks have not only become a substitutes for traditional family albums, but a major source of entertainment and a form of self-representation. It seems that in such a patriarchal country as Russia, women seriously struggle for male attention, and the most important factor for life success becomes a glamorous (and sometimes exaggerated) idea of beauty.
"I organized these materials in the imaginary story-line of one fake princess, from birth to old age. The big question is: “what happens to a princess after marriage?” Do they disappear, while those shapeless, self-content, ageless ladies in colorful arrow and leopard print dresses appear by themselves, like aliens or asteroids?"
In its original edit, the project contains about 36 000 images. Irina worked with 3 assistants for 3 months to download these images, one by one. The project was first presented in the Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam in November 2013, in a group exhibition Russian Ateliers on Amstel, where the artist covered two walls with more than 1000 images. It took Irina another two years to make the final selection and to shape it into a book form.