Mass media, which had been created primary to make communications easier between people, had turned to a dominant due course, influencing consciousness of people and imposing model of dialogue, behavior, comprehension and offering ready models of life. Ideological field: Many people had lost possibility to create a communications on their own because of media’s flow influence. Inability to create a personal model of life (dialogue, behavior, feelings, reactions etc.), had led to the fact that people fill their vacuum by templates, which worked-out in mass media. All this leads to loss of one’s own identity. Heroes are usual people, which build their communications with world and personal system of values by means of media’s ready templates. They blindly copy this templates, because completely trust it. In the series of photo I substitute Identity of the hero for 100% mass media’s templates. It becomes a comics, where everyday life of the heroes is carried to the point of absurdity, but they infinitely believe all is going on and live with absolute confidence that it’s a present. In process of blind copying by the heroes of the templates, image, created for virtual medium of mass media, all of it falls in and turn into absurd. It occurs impossibility to substitute existence and life of human by ready decisions, created in virtual medium. An attempt to substitute identity of hero for ready decisions leads to conflict. The hero have become a bad calque of very shabby original. It leads to absurd and losses in reconstruction of image.
There was a monstrous cataclysm in 1990s in our country — the USSR crushed. The most terrible thing was not change of power or economic course, but a destruction of the ideological value, which had been filling with meaning life of several generations for many years. These values organized a society and were the guidelines for aspirations and progress of each person in the USSR. Their sharp destruction without new ideology in exchange has led to a break-up in self-consciousness of people. It is a series about the people who remained in their time. They communicate with this time, materializing it in their own consciousness. They are incapable to escape from the past and don’t want to. Perception of the reality passes through a prism created by consciousness on the basis of the past ideological values. Such perception lead to monstrous distortions, therefore, the reality excites a horror and an escape from it towards the past. The main character of the series is my grandmother. The most part of her conscious life she had lived in the USSR. She had taken the ruins of 90s very hard, but the time went on and it seemed that she had reconciled. However, reconciliation was only external, not inside. The older she grew the more difficult it was to hide the internal contradictions that were born because of the rejection of reality and herself in it. The second character is the bust of Lenin. Lenin embodies ideological field of the past values. The third character is the reality itself.
The whole series is built on the collisions of the characters and on their interrelations, as well as on interpretation of the reality of characters, where one of them falls out of it from time to time. There is a struggle going on for what the reality is indeed and who really exists in it.
Melancholia is the state of soul caused by having an opportunity to choose your own way. The choice appears or is given from above for experience and self-cultivation, for coming up to a new stage in intellectual and mental development. The choice can be treated as great blessing, but at the same time, as great responsibility and a burden. Just this duality generates melancholy. A man always seeks to get choice. Having choice gives imaginary understanding and feeling that he, the man, is the architect of his destiny. He gets the opportunity to choose, but here’s the paradox, what was seen as great blessing, was dreamed of, was achieved with a lot of strength, becomes a great burden. And now, the benefit becomes a torture as having a variety of options you can choose only one. And having made the choice, you should be ready to shoulder a heavy burden — a responsibility that you will have to carry on. The more we make choice, the harder our burden becomes. And the heavier the load, the harder the choice is. The state of melancholy gives us time and opportunity to evaluate the load we’ve already accumulated and make a new decision. But it’s impossible to remain in this state for a long time even if it’s comfortable and happy in it. No matter how hard and difficult the choice is the decision has to be taken. We live in constant movement in integrated field of space and time. We’re moving so fast that we can notice only the way under our feet, and if we try to see something in the distance, we run the risk of tripping and falling. Melancholy is an opportunity to slow down our movement, to descry what is ahead and to size up the abilities, prospects and to adjust the heading. The main thing is not to miss the opportunity and to make choice and to follow your way, otherwise the space-time stream will throw you where it wants.
Myth is the system of images. Once appeared on someone’s will, it finds its own life in the minds of people. Human consciousness carries him through time and space. Myth as a living organism is able to develop, grow and even propagate. It enriches the world, making it more versatile, filling it. Every person involved in the creation of myths, it’s an essential part of his life. From birth, we are creating a myth of ourselves, take part in the creation of other people’s myths, nurture and develop them. We all are the mythological heroes! Some myths die, others live for centuries … Deprive this world of the mythology, and he immediately fade, become simpler … lose color. Myths push people to act. By means of mythology, people find a sense of existence, faith; become the greatest heroes or villains.
My series is a myth-making, a reflection images of a long-dead maybe never have existed myths. The matter of myth has a large dynamic system of images, symbols, as an excellent material for the artist. It’s a kind of way out in space with no hard bindings to time and place.
«The Newly Testament» is a reflection on the historical context and cultural and ideological realities of the country in which I was lucky to be born. You can’t just cross the past and declare yourself a new person, a new country — it will not get rid of the habits of the past. Only after experiencing the past deep inside, and comprehending the experience, you can get rid of old habits and go further. It is probably impossible to do this massively at the national level, but at the personal level it is real.
The hotel is a place of human passions. It’s a territory where the restrictions on secret desires and passion are thrown away. It’s a place devoid of memory, which means shame too. This place is devoid of witnesses and censure. It’s a place of intimacy. I think the main push to create this series (initially completely unconscious) was a sense of shame. This series is overcoming of this feeling, a frank conversation with myself without hesitation and without embellishment. We can’t call the modern society puritanical, but it can’t look at the relationship, where there is intimacy, openness, uncovered «nudity» without censure, embarrassment and shame. Openness and the nakedness of the relationship are hard-raped by the society; dirty humor, vulgarity is taboo. It seems to be protected from something in that way; maybe it just does not want to recognize the right to internal human freedom, his frankness and openness?..
The place chosen for human life, can tell a lot about the man. Civilization spawned vehicles greatly accelerated and simplified the journey. But even it is not omnipotent, there are still places where you can be alone, to hide from it. Three hours by ferry from mainland Sweden takes you to the island of Gotland (you can use a plane, but it’s not romantic), from where by bus or by a rented or your own car you, having overcome a good half of Gotland, will access to the ferry terminal to Faro island. The island became popular thanks to Bergman, who directed two documentary films about the island and a variety of art works. In the days of Bergman the island was a real suburb and a God-forgotten place, where you can find peace and the ability to hide from the world. To the already above-mentioned advantages it is necessary to add the richness and diversity of the landscape, the presence of the sea, its unique light. But the great thing is a refuge for a lonely man, alone inside, running from the demons living in the man. The Demons are our fears, doubts, with which we must fight day and night. Making movies for Bergman is a way to heal, to overcome his nightmares, to understand himself, to answer his own questions. His films are very personal, though being works of art; they are a document, a chronicle of experiences, passions, victories and defeats of Ingmar Bergman. For a deeper understanding of his work, understanding him as a person and an artist, you need to review his movies, to read his autobiography and to visit Faro. All this will not only allow us to understand Bergman, but also to find internal similarity, to expose our own demons and redirect destructive energy into creative direction.
This project is a kind of research aimed at the study and awareness of photography. What is photography? — Memory? A mean of expressing your point of view? A tool to dissect reality? Another language for an artist? I would say that photography is a multifunctional tool that opens up great opportunities to study and understand reality, our world and ourselves. In the beginning, when the photo was still very young, it was blamed in hyperrealism and mechanicalness, it was considered as a cold machine, impartially fixing reality, striking out the man from this equation. But already the pioneers of photography called into question these statements. Photography became a faithful companion of mankind from birth to death, and the man returned to the equation.
Every time I am engaged in photography, I keep asking myself what is reality? How inviolable is it, and can it be interpreted unambiguously? What is time and how is reality consistent with it? Every time I take a picture, I capture a fragment of space in a unit of time, but even before I press the camera button, the picture is formed in my head. For me, photography is a way of thinking, an awareness of reality. Sometimes I see a frame, but I do not press the camera button, the frame is already formed in the mind, the work is done, and the physical confirmation of that (i.e. the picture taken with the camera) is not necessary, or I don’t want to share with anybody else what I have seen.
Just imagine we are moving around the planet, and everything is moving around us: the planet is rotating around its axis and around the sun, our solar system is also in motion. But I push the button and everything stops and I can see what I can’t see in the world that is in constant motion. This is similar with the research, which was conducted by people immediately after photography had been invented. When, in order to understand how a person, an animal or a celestial body moves, it was necessary to fix each of their smallest movements first. But today this process is much more complicated, more subtle…