Destination eternity

At the end of the 20th century, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a whole new cemetery culture suddenly emerged in its former territories. This trend materialized with eccentric naturalist engravings. The motifs can vary unbelievably from the simple portrait to lush landscape, including grandiose theatrics and strange montage. The origin of this new fashion remains unknown. The trend may have been initiated, as suggested by some, by the post-Soviet mafia, which became a role model at the start of the 90s.

Many of these cemeteries are not just an expression of grief they are also a celebration of the lifestyle, social status, and the richness of the deceased and the remaining family. Eugenia Maximova tirelessly collected images, in square formats, of these astonishing tombs without any special effects, framing or distance. Her imposing series ends up making sense by reminding us that money now imposes its law on the sacred for the nouveau riche.


Eugenia Maximova was born in Bulgaria. She studied journalism at the University of Vienna and became interested in photography in 2005 after the unexpected death of her mother, a renowned Bulgarian artist. ‘Looking through the viewfinder and pressing on the shutter helped me to escape the painful reality of her death, overcome the shock and soothe the overwhelming grief. Over time, photography has become my favourite means of communication; a new outlet for creative expression for my sentiments and my perception of the world,’ she said. Eugenia travelled widely, eager for understanding and visual truth. In 2010 Eugenia took part in the SEE NEW PERSPECTIVES Masterclass organised by World Press Photography and the Robert Bosh Foundation. In 2011 she was selected for the NOOR – NIKON Masterclass in Documentary Photography.



"Destination eternity"
3 rue Raspail
In the presence of the photographer.


Book signing sessions have been organised in partnership with the bookshop L'Échappée Belle, during previews and at the Chais des Moulins, from 8th to 12th May.