Claudine Doury

Camera Obscura

Claudine Doury’s bio tells us that she lives and works in Paris, but it would be more accurate to say that she lives and dreams there. As for work, it happens in the faraway places where her dreams, instincts, and friendships take her (aided and abetted by magazine assignments, grants, and awards). The places are often exotic—Crimea, Siberia, Tahiti, Central Asia—but the photos are not, because Doury is a traveler rather than a tourist, a repeated visitor rather than a reporter pressed for time. Russia is a long-standing passion: She learned the language in high school, and her decision to “take the leap,” as she says, into professional photography after ten years as a picture researcher coincided with the breakup of the USSR. She took the native peoples of Siberia—an interest sparked years earlier by a place-name in an atlas—as the subject of a book in 1999, eight

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