FotoDepartament curator Nadya Sheremetova presents the program of contemporary art photography exhibitions during the Xth International photography festival “Photoparade in Uglich” 2016. The main subject of the exhibitions will be connected with the place of the exposition: specific cityscape or the place where exhibition takes place. On the one hand the uniting place for the expositions is the Art school in Uglich. The title of the place itself refers to some of the specific subjects of the authors that will be represented there. In the context of “art” and “school” high art becomes the place for the game or even craze. The notions distort and vernacular, everyday images (such as used in Russian buying and selling service ‘Avito’) make impression on the viewer and gain their own value.
The second part of the exhibitions is entitled “Inevitability of the other side”. It attempts to install photography into the cityscape and resonate with the history of the place and current life of Uglich. Nadya Sheremetova and Yury Gudkov are co-curators of the exposition.
Exhibitions in Art school
10 – 20 August 2016
Participants in the exhibition: Anna Bashkirova / Yury Gudkov / Nini Dudoladova / Feodora Kaplan / Evgeny Litvinov / Yury Koryakovsky / Daria Pokrass / Anna Sopova / Olga Sukhareva / Natalia Fedorova / Denis Shulepov
Curator of the exhibition: Nadia Sheremetova / FotoDepartament
Everything started when photography began to be observed as photography – as everyday photography, like an open phenomena. Behind the photography, made not by themselves, not belonging to themselves, or photography trying to hide itself, but the opposite, those demonstrating themselves to someone unknown, and in the end it isn’t important to whom; with tremendous force everything is merged into the ever-multiplying network. Our exhibition is about this convergence and the interconnected enchantment. The excesses, seized by accessible to the gaze space, overcome by individual possibilities of reception and acceptance, by the space of others – neighbors, strangers, anonymous people, by the world of things and desires – authors designate to themselves the game, more serious than which and complicated to present – define yourself across another game. Time and time again balancing between ‘we’ and ‘I’.
Avito became the most attractive for participants as a platform of investigation. It is a buying and selling service of already unneeded or new but unwanted in the future things, a meeting place of collective desires, of alien experiences and individual discovery. Even from the beginning photography had entered such a field – photostreams, in which art itself happens with viewers. Philosopher Philipp Lakoue Labarth speaks about the power of every great piece of art to “put aside” existence, to distance itself from being, making unknown and familiar – Unheimlich à la Freud, so that art finds itself as such, or more specific, so that it unexpectedly spots itself and it’s presence. The nature of social media’s photostreams, like that of Avito’s where supply and demand of subjects like household goods, search for work, search for love or sale of a home, forms through photography, as much materially as intimately with the point of lowering all barriers of translation of personal space in the field of visibility, so that that known in an unknown, alien but also shared, mesmerizes, scared, and captivates simultaneously; the impossibility to watch and impossibility to tear away your gaze. If one peers in, then everything is uncovered, like how if not everything becomes understandable, but much in the region where it is decided to cast one’s gaze.
Every participant of the exhibition defined the field of their personal interest, which is based in the responding flow of photo material, but continues in the setting of other questions. Although investigation of the photographs themselves is the most interesting task; how they are created, and which system of presentation and which goals the author is trying to show, what they translate and uncover, what erupts between the text of postings, department in which is situated illustrations uploaded by users, what happens with those who examine these images and what do professional photographers find inspiring in this collectively formed unique esthetic. The flow of images, already confirmed by their enormity, and that which their flow will be endless and updated, all serve as a hallucination of reality. And as a domain of art, or of a meeting that transforms all of it’s participants, this flow forms a space of shared imagination, like a dream, in which everything is ‘dreamt’ to one another and the work of the personal and the collective psyches takes places, their attraction and connected ecstasy. The partnership to this dream brings both the viewers and the participants in the flow of images closer, gives rise to the possibility to accept one another as the spontaneous affected opening of the possibility to find another in yourself – to feel like a direct part of a whole.
Irina Zadorozhnaia. Ex machina. Evidences
This project is inspired by the idea of an imaginary influence machine, whose fact of occurrence was analyzed by a psychoanalyst named Victor Tausk. One of the effects produced by the impact of this machine is described as compulsion to look at pictures. The projections are shown on a plane, on the walls and windowpanes, wherein images are not as bulky as in typical hallucinations. In such a situation the visual construction becomes a tool of curvature for mental space. It appears as an external screen on which internal changes are projected, as well as simultaneously creates a chain of distances and turns into a change provocateur.
The machine emits glimmers of influence from the new media forms – a “cinematic apparatus” that is capable of “creating and taking away thoughts and feelings.”
First of all I was interested in the plan of expression, namely the transition of “psychotic” from psychopathology to aesthetics. The actual speaking a visual language about the visual language itself.
The goal was to see your own visual experience as if it is someone else’s. To dismantle it into images and their fragments, taken from different realities and situations. By neutralizing the fictional and the real, to realize some story as delirium, as a situation-paradox. Discovering alienation as constant tension, which allows experience to take place and have various versions of such experience. It does not have the past or the future and continues as a curve into nowhere, breaking all types of structures and procedures.
Yury Gudkov. Magnificent
This project was originally planned as a response to the involvement in the work activities of a company producing equipment for the diamond industry.
The diamond as an object of labor has a particular specificity. It is perceived as an immutable object of desire (it is difficult to explain its appeal based on its physical properties or its rarity), and represents the pure value. Attempts to describe its appeal rationally are made through the “beauty” of its glow and shining. In this regard, I am interested to consider the diamond not as an object in itself, but as something that shows its value in the ability to create a specific configuration of light. The diamond is a material, with which we can see the beauty of light per se. Moreover, here I am interested in a parallel with photography as a phenomenon that creates the configuration of light rather than a shape of things, which makes us enjoy not the observed object, but the light reflected from it.
In this book, I set a question about the value search and criteria (inability) of its determination. The diamond industry is a branch based on the satisfaction of the pure desire (because it is based on finding objects that symbolize the desire). Likening myself to diamond miners, I dive into a mine to find my diamond. However, if the dipping of a corporation has economic reasons, the dipping of an artist, in turn, happens due to the aesthetic suppositions. The dipping doesn’t give so many answers but sets questions to me: whether it is possible to highlight the very “value” that seduces the eye by plunging into the stream of images that are a part of the visual totality? What is its representation: light, form or object? Can I stop this process by myself?
Anastasia Tsaider. Secrets of mastery
The project explores alternative fashion in Russia.
One’s ability to make themselves clothes using the available materials was indispensable in the society of late Socialism, existing parallel to the consumer society of the West. With the advent of the capitalism, instead of perishing together with the Soviet shortage economy, vernacular fashion somehow persisted becoming a sort of a predominantly female subculture.
What makes today’s outsider designers different from the modistes of the Soviet years is that they can now ignore the ideas of the ‘fashionable’. Free from having to follow a trend, they express their own ideas of fashion and beauty, making original interpretations of the mass-market functionality and the post-modern artisticity of the haute-couture. In a way, they reinvent fashion rewriting its history from the blank page.
When producing the series the designers were asked to pose dressed in their products, which they consider the most representative of their style. Placed in the neutral studio environment they are presented to the viewer free from context and encouraging a non-judgemental study.
Igor Samolet. Herbarium
I started to shoot this project in a small village on the North of Russia. It has to be said that in Russia almost every family owns a land alongside their city apartment. On that land they have a vegetable garden to cultivate vegetables, flowers, and fruits. This tradition appeared during the Soviet times and it goes on since then, as it is believed that vegetables cultivated by your own effort are more ecological. Such a land is called dacha and usually life is a full swing there only in summer. My family’s garden is in a village that was abandoned due to lack of workplaces in the countryside. The houses were sold, and one of them became our dacha. I found a bunch of old photos on the attic of the people that had lived in that house. The photos were taken in the 60s. It was interesting to look through them and to guess the lives of the portrayed guys and girls. I felt like I wanted to give those photos a new life, to continue the story of the village. It was time to reap a harvest, and the process of working on the land hit me upon an idea of going back to the roots, to the history of that place. The idea of earth nourishing plants, as well as the past nourishing the future, was as natural as connecting my self-portraits with the old shots. That is how I wanted to become closer to that place and to continue its chronicles. I gave my self-portraits different feelings, from mystical to funny, which filled my life in the countryside. Covering the face with masks from the nature’s materials, I wanted to be lost in the environment to feel better the place.
Photography in the cityscpae
Inevitability of the other side
Photography is a message that changes its meaning according to the context. We try to keep it safe in the space of white cube and stick to the only one “right” and “true” reading of it. But is this the right way to deal with photography? We perceive the image here and now and can’t prognose how will it be interpreted next. The experience of perception can’t be separated from the image we perceive and the space where the act of perception is taking place.
We place photography in the city to reveal three qualities: the field of photography, the space of the city and the presence of viewer to produce a new reading and resonance with something that seemed to be completely clear and to reveal the traces of the past.
The other side is something that is born out of this new understanding and resonance. It doesn’t show the reverse side, but allows to see the surface in detail.
Curators: Nadya Sheremetova, Yury Gudkov
Participants: Julia Borissova, Anastasia Tailakova, Irina Yulieva