The series of works, united by the common title “I Would Rather Be a Dog”, is based on the idea of transformation as the highest form of dissent. Every 25 years or so, the country I’m from, Russia, encounters the phenomenon of mass emigration. People who do not want to put up with state violence and the suppression of dissent by the authorities are forced to leave their homes, and those who cannot escape seek refuge in inner migration, that is, they find themselves in a state of dissociation. How to escape from the imposed control, from the infinitely narrowing boundaries of what is permissible? Maybe become a dog, a bird, a laurel bush? 

This project is based on photogrammetric images taken during my migration from the country between 2022 and 2023. I gathered them into a digital archive, where I collected 3D scans of the interiors of the hotel rooms in which I happened to stay, and myself in them, landscapes of foreign cities and countries that I crossed, and stray animals that I encountered on the streets of these places. Documentary photography, designed to become a source of reliable information, ceases to be such here. 

Valenkova Kristina

Valenkova Kristina was born in 1990 in the city of Kerch, Ukraine. She later moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she graduated from the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. From 2021 to 2023, she studied at the BAZA Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia. Currently, she resides in Belgrade, Serbia. 


Kristina Valenkova’s main focus of observation is the anthropogenic nature: the flora and fauna of cities in the light of political and economic upheavals. Employing archiving methods, she resorts to various types of documentation: not only photography and videography but also digital scanning, creation of 3D models, and cartography. An important factor in her choice of material is the possibility of creating a template form, a sample, as a unit of memory storage.