Estelle Zolotoff


Estelle Zolotoff is a French photographer born in France. After studying Management and Human Sciences, she becomes a psychologist in the corporate world, specialised of the field of in-depth psychological portraits.

Fascinated by photography since childhood, Estelle Zolotoff follows several workshops during the Arles Photography Festival and develops later in life - in parallel of her Psychologist’s career - an activity as a professional photographer.

Her Russian origins and her passion for cinema have a strong influence on her author’s work. She takes pictures which are at the confluence of the intimate and the social, in particular in France, Russia, Iran and Georgia. Estelle Zolotoff claims a photography of the intuition and aims at grasping her subjects’ unconscious breakaways, rather than having a photographic pratice that tries to controls the human through the medium.

The interiority of human beings, adolescence, femininity and the question of the self’s place within its environment are her essential subjects.
She currently lives and works in Paris.

Her work has been shown during several photography festivals. She works for the French media and was recently commissioned by Foundation de Nant (Switzerland) to document the daily life in a Psychiatric unit.
She collaborates with the Paris based agent Sarah Preston, Neutral Grey.


The Uncertain Heroes

To depict a portrait of a country is a hard task, almost an impossible one. Yet this is what I attempted to do, since 2010 through my many journeys in Georgia, 20 years after the dissolution of USSR.

Beside the conflict that confronted Georgia with Russia in 2008, my reference on this country was Iosseliani's films.

The Georgian people I have met are those Uncertain Heroes, heroes of an in-between, between Europe and Asia, between a soviet area and today's pro-western orientation. It seems they are asking me to pull them away from potentially being left in a forgotten past.

Failing to stay amongst them or to take them with me out of this locked-in territory, I photographed this surprising out-of-time stage where the landscapes carry the stunning beauty of the forgotten worlds. The strong presence of beings and places has marked me on the long term and I have created this long lost country suspended in times and history.


Inner Landscapes

For this series, which I shot in Kostroma (Russia), I was looking for traces and hints of a Russian inner life, which could have been mine if I had been born in this country in which I have roots, rather than in France.

Starting with my own inner self, with the surface of people and places they live in, these images invite the viewer to look into himself as often does literature and cinema.