The “beast-like” wild side of Moscow's club girls
23-year old photographer Sasha Mademuaselle has spent the last three years capturing Moscow like you’ve never seen it before. She photographs the secret world which lies beyond politics and belongs to the young, beautiful and wild. Her subjects are vulnerable yet fearless, they are drawn to vast landscapes, late night parties, love and fighting - just like everywhere else in the world.
In her Girls series Sasha follows Moscow girls, often by night, into their most ecstatic states and unpredictable adventures. She reveals her subjects' inner wild side – an important job in a conservative and casually sexist Russian society.
Dazed Digital: When did you start shooting?
Sasha Mademuaselle: I bought my first film camera when I was about 17 to photograph my small native town, vacations and of course my friends. I mostly took pictures of my friends at parties and then next week I printed the photos to give to them. I think you can hardly find a single one of these as they were horrendous.
DD: What is your favourite subject?
Sasha Mademuaselle: I have a few things I love shooting: hair, legs animals and sofas. It's quite a weird selection. But most of all I like taking pictures of my friends when they're having fun.
"My story is about something really beast-like, wild and dirty inside these pretty creatures and how it suddenly comes out"
DD: You capture Moscow nightlife quite a lot, what's interesting about it?
Sasha Mademuaselle: Moscow doesn't have a lot of places to go and at some point it turned out that all the coolest, most beautiful young people of Moscow were going to the same places. I loved taking pictures of them because parties were really important in my life. I was partying Thursday to Sunday taking pictures all the time! It was great fun.
DD: Tell us a bit about your Girls series?
Sasha Mademuaselle: I am interested in the female body and its role in art as an object of desire, and the theories which portray women as vessels of sin. My story is about something really beast-like, wild and dirty inside these pretty creatures and how it suddenly comes out.
DD: Do you think gender matters in a photographer's practice?
Sasha Mademuaselle: I think there is always a male and a female approach to the problem. Usually girls shoot girls in a really tender and clear way, trying to be gentle. That's why I think I have quite a manly approach to photography, I don't play it safe.
DD: How are Moscow girls different to others?
Sasha Mademuaselle: They say Russian women are more beautiful than others but I don't believe it. I think the main difference is that girls of my age grew up in the terrible conditions, the debris of the collapsed empire so they developed quite tough personalities.
DD: How does it feel to be a girl in today's Moscow?
Sasha Mademuaselle: Russia is an Asian country so women here are obliged to look great in any situation. High heels, make up, hairstyle: everything should perfect. It's really tiring sometimes, but apart from that, being a girl in Moscow is lots of fun.
DD: What are your plans?
Sasha Mademuaselle: I would like to become a photographer and take pictures of cats for calendars.