Sweden-based artist Anastasia Savinova found herself traveling through cities across different countries, looking closely at the architecture of the culture that inhabits them. "I take pictures of buildings, look into windows sneakily, go to local shops, flea markets and bars, watch everyday life — all this helps to build the feeling of the place," Savinova says. in identifying the key differences and similarities between the habitable spaces, Savinova uses the collected visual material as the foundation for a series of large-scale collages, which integrate several images with dozens of associations into a single amalgamated architectural representation.
Genius Loci is a journey to a multitude of places, urban and rural, inhabited and peopleless, accessible and secluded. The project explores the character and the spirit of the place. Each work is a visual archive, where one picture concentrates the essence and the feeling of a visited site. Streets and mountain passes, encounters on the road and off-road are a rich source of visual information such as form, color and texture; at the same time, all the encountered environments contain something incorporeal. Ancient Romans believed that every place has a protective spirit - genius loci; in contemporary usage, genius loci refers to location’s specific atmosphere and the way it is experienced. Each work is composed of numerous photographs of buildings and landscape forms that are true and authentic for a studied area. These works balance between documentary and fiction, factual and imaginary spaces, and become keepers of the memory and the spirit of the Place.
Sideway Encounters part of the project focuses on places in-between: sheds and barns and other constructions, discovered during long road-trips, at times abandoned and ruined, secretly hidden outside the towns or solemnly standing in the middle of nowhere, lost in vast fields of grass or dusty roadsides, juxtaposed with powerful nature. Sometimes these constructions are found side by side with animals, which often seem to be the only rulers out there. These large-scale collages visualize particular atmosphere, the breath of these poetic and enigmatic “in-between” places. Roadless Encounters pictures places, where no road reaches, one can only get there by walking for days: mountain refuges and ruins, forest huts and ancient shelters.
Genius Loci Norr is a chapter of the project dedicated to the Swedish North: towns, villages and landscapes in Norrbotten. From Luleå to Tornedalen; from Riksgränsen to Kiruna through snowy views of Torneträsk; from Nikkaluokta, where all-man road ends, up to Kebnekaise and magical Tarfala glacier valley; from Jokkmokk to Kvikkjokk and further on to Tarra valley, embraced by black and white mountains. Old wooden houses and storages, iron mines and towns on a background of a steelwork, hidden deer-herder houses, ice-fishing shelters, mountain huts, research stations, and powerful landscapes. The North is vast and is a Cosmos on its own.