Nominated by Erik Vroons (Chief editor, GUP)
Interested in creating deeply personal, most of the time, uncomfortable for the viewer projects, Blanco makes sure that each of her series resonates with her past memories and directly interacts with her present experiences. Her photography projects are highly intuitive and self-reflective.
‘Meat, Fish and Aubergine Caviar’ is a project about my parents’ life in Odesa, Ukraine. The city on the Black Sea coast has everything in abundance: fish, sun, exposed flesh and of course… delicious aubergine caviar.
However, my own life in Odesa wasn’t a bed of roses. My parents were depressed and emotionally distant. The only connection between the members of our family was to eat together at the dinner table. I left Odesa to live abroad at an early age and had to go back in 2016 to take care of my father due to a serious health condition. In the project, with the help of the camera, I juxtapose traumas of the past with regrets of the present. I create a utopian universe where my parents live up to their expectations and I, as their daughter, enjoy the image of an illusionary home where hot meat croquettes, delicious fish pancakes and scrumptious aubergine caviar come together on the table in a form of redemption of the past actions.