If You Have a Secret – Irina Popova

Irina Popova, If Ypu Have a Secret, photobook, Russian photographer, Dostoevsky Publishing

If You Have A Secret by Irina Popova © Dostoevsky Publishing, 2017

I don’t even know where to begin in spotlighting the brilliance that is Russian photographer and publisher Irina Popova (Ирина Попова). I can say this – the newly released, 2nd version publication of her ambitious body of work If You Have a Secret embodies all the courage and intellect of the young artist. I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending some time with her in Lisbon last year during the Lisbon Photobook Fair. Her active mind and doings are ever present. Where does such ambition come from at such an early age, with immense experience and execution of it already present in the foreground? If You Have a Secret exemplifies her intensity. Demonstrated again in this elaborately designed book, we see Irina in a league all her own, an absolute original, with not one trope, but her own brave, authentic gaze into the world, and her point-blank exposure of it. The book is both elaborate and intimate at the same time.

Printed in an edition of 400 English copies and 100 Russian copies, under her imprint Dostoevsky Publishing (August, 2017). If You Have a Secret arrived in my mailbox last weekend. A week already with it, I’m understanding there’s a life of secrets inside its covers. The design alone, incorporating double-folded pages and translucent broadsides, with “ghost text”, commands forensic-like investigation and uncovering. A major feat, this book!