A haunting and deeply personal collection of photographs and poems from Irena Popova’s life in Russia before her departure to Holland in 2009, If You Have A Secret invites the viewer to play a game. The game of secrets unearths memories buried in childhood homes and under skin to tell a harrowing story of life and family in a crumbling Soviet Union. This artist book weaves the intimate nature of its poems with the landscape of scenes from Russia’s proletariat. Certainly each photograph is story, both inviting and grim, pieced together with only the notion that the human experience is comprised of shared suffering, joy and secrets beneath every surface.
Doestoevsky Publishing, Amsterdam, 2014