┐ Ksenia Burnasheva’s Singles └

original_single5This work was suggested to me by Rotem Rozental, the working bee at the SIP blog :) The following is a re-post of Ksenia Burnasheva’s project Singles.
theevening2011UfaRussia2011© Ksenia Burnasheva, from the project Singles, 2009 – ongoing

“I was born in an industrial city in the middle of the European part of Russia called Ufa where I was raised and spent most of my teenage years before moving to England six years ago. I moved from Ufa to Cambridge, where I studied foundation level art at the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Art after which I then moved to London and began my bachelor’s degree in photography at the Camberwell College of Arts. In 2011, when I had graduated from Camberwell, I began working towards my masters in fine art photography at Central Saint Martins. At the moment I am finishing up my masters and looking towards defining my career in fine art photography.”

Bleach2010the-fish2012© Ksenia Burnasheva, from the project SinglesI, 2009 – ongoing

“The main focus of my work tends to investigate into the relationship between space and objects within that space. What I am interested in is the juxtaposition of objects in relation to each other and the space as a whole. In my on-going series Singles I depict mundane, everyday scenes of life that, upon first glance, seem familiar, but when photographed they become very still, which encourages the viewer to stop and look closer.

It is this clear absence within the image that enthralls the viewer and draws them deeper into the image. It does so in such a monumental way that it causes one to touch upon the mysterious atmosphere, leading the viewer to question the feeling of there being something else present. Scenes within Singles are an untouched documentation of reality that yet evokes the feeling of it almost being staged, the subtle tones seen in the photographs adds to that created illusion.

Working in between two countries (Russia and England) has provided two contrasting backgrounds for these images. However, each image still manages to tell its own story and remain one of a kind; they are scenes from everywhere and nowhere. Each photograph separates the scenes from their original context and creates a new perspective for them to be perceived, all the while maintaining an air of silence.”

More of Ksenia‘s work can be seen here

┐ What is Pussy Riot’s ‘Idea’? – Maria Chehonadskih └

knitting patterns via poppalina

article in the latest issue of Radical Philosophy. A must read!

pdf here:che_pussy_riot

The dark side of the Pussy Riot multitude is an extreme individualism, manifest in the gesture of the removed balaclavas, behind which a unique ‘Russianness’ appears: first, the face of the leader, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova; second, dissident moralism, spirituality and asceticism – the brand identity of Russian revolutionaries since the populist movement of the nineteenth century; and third, the visibility of the local art and intellectual scenes as such. Tolokonnikova wrote:

The people that I have had the chance to work with during my actionist years were quite unusual for Moscow. They were not interested in money or comfort… They preferred not to spend time and their consciousness, which was ready to include and transform everything around them, on the daily grind and the striving for creature comforts. When they wanted to eat, they would break a loaf of bread. Their hearts were not heavy from either overeating or drunkenness. Their minds were fully occupied with whatever they were currently working on. They worked a lot, with fervor and enthusiasm. Even their knowledge of the fact that they might have to pay for their activities with prison did not stop them.

We are all Pussy Riot in the sense that without masks we are of the touching, phantasmatic East – wild, risky and unknown. If I speak of an ‘Eastern exotic’ it is without any cynicism towards to the group. Thanks to Pussy Riot our local political and artistic scene has at last received some attention. We are now very busy: curators make exhibitions about Pussy Riot, activists give lectures about Pussy Riot, and intellectuals and art critics, like myself, write texts about Pussy Riot…

┐ Alexander Brener & Barbara Schurz └

On the night of October 15th, as I was leaving the demonstration, a guy shouted at me. As I looked back he asked me if I spoke english, I nodded, he grabbed a paper bag and gave me a book. He turned, walked away and cut the corner just in time for me to thank him. I opened the book and this was it!!! Thank you Alexander!

“In the beginning of 1999 we published a little book called What to do? 54 Technologies of Resistance Against Power Relations in Late-Capitalism (in Vienna, and before that in Moscow.) This book is a collection of a number of semi-anecdotes and semi-reflections about the possibilities of political and cultural resistance under the condition of a globalized market and multiculturalism. The centre of our examination were so-called technologies of resistance: familiar and traditional methods of political struggle and cultural resistance, as well as individual ‘transgressive’ techniques. On the one hand we tried to analyze critically technologies such as demonstrations, sit-ins, hunger strikes; on the other hand we discussed the effectiveness of showing your ass in front of your enemy, throwing eggs and spitting on your opponent’s dress. Resistance must take into consideration concrete circumstances of place and time and must act from very precise strategies and tactics of local struggle, if it wants to be effective. Borrowing from Foucault, who spoke about the ‘specific intellectual’ we suggested the term ‘local and specific resistor.’ Such a resistor doesn’t act from universal concepts or out of the doctrines of parties or groups, but struggles against these very doctrines and keeps moving endlessly, not knowing what he or she will do tomorrow. In combating the current art-system, local scandals, interventions, leaflets, graffiti etc. may be effective at a certain moment but useless in another context. Soft subversion, a heritage inherited from the 1980s, is no longer adequate, and the hidden undermining of the political context of the enemy is obsolete and has finally degenerated either into cynicism or into conformism and strategies of success and survival within the system. ‘War is necessary!’ was our answer to the question ‘What to do?’

However, the term ‘technologies of resistance,’ which we have used untill now, no longer satisfies us. From now on we want to talk not about technologies but about anti-technologies of resistance. After the works by Artaud, Bataille and Foucault, Lacoue-Labarthe, it becomes clear that the Greek term ‘techne,’ which denotes a mimetic ideal in the sphere of art and is directly connected with the art of politics, still subordinates itself to political and aesthetic activities in modern society. Techne implies a model of society that is based on the hegemony of certain technologies of power and on the subjection of the will of individuals in a direction favorable to the elite. Technologies are the skills and abilities which guarantee the functioning of knowledge and power in very different fields – from a shoemaker’s business to the construction of intercontinental ballistic missiles, from artistic collages to espionage satellites. Power relations produce technologies and distribute them partly through dictatorship, partly through seduction, but always in the interest of the ruling order. Even if one or another technology is employed in the service of resistance, at a certain moment it inevitably turns out to be the hostage of power and, deriving from power relations, it permanently return us to them. Technologies serve the oldest and most productive game of power, where its myths get the ‘final’ and ‘competent’ confirmation from experts. Nowadays techno-myths serve the neo-liberal elites, repressive tolerance, and the new Right. We no longer want to speak about ‘technologies of resistance’ because we associate the term ‘technologies’ with ‘power’ rather than ‘resistance.’ Anti-technologies of resistance are necessary!

This is a great manifesto by Alexander and Barbara. continue reading here

┐ Nikita Pirogov └

© Nikita Pirogov, Sofa, from the project The Other Shore

© Nikita Pirogov, Hands, from the project The Other Shore

© Nikita Pirogov, Semeon, from the project The Other Shore

The Other Shore is a media project that is in progress and which I have been working on for three years. It consists of photography, video based on the idea of slow-motion, performance, with its accompanying soundtrack, and work with space and objects. Ideally this would be a round exhibition space with several entrances (or one in the floor, as in a lighthouse), around 100 photographs hung in a particular order but without a concrete ‘beginning’ or ‘end’ to the exhibit. Each photograph is self-contained and expresses its own meaning, but in combination with the other images creates further ideas, as letters make up words. The photographs will be laid out as a mosaic and together with the video will express a hidden wave formation. The video sets the tempo and brings the whole piece to life, bringing time into the equation. The sound recording (the whistling sound that is created when cold and warm streams of air meet between doors) adds further effect that functions non-verbally and emphasises the sensation of the Other. The objects — everyday items — also carry meaning in the idea of materialism and our unavoidable involvement with time (and the time in which the exhibition is taking place). The performance will be executed by a girl dressed in a white dress, who will walk around the visitors and interacting with the exhibited objects.

Nikita’s work can be seen here

┐ Daria Tuminas └

© Daria Tuminas, Untitled, from the series Ivan and the Moon

© Daria Tuminas, Untitled, from the series Ivan and the Moon

© Daria Tuminas, Untitled, from the series Ivan and the Moon

“Ivan is the elder, he is 16. Andrey, nicknamed Moon, is the younger, 14 by now. The two brothers live in a distant village in the northern part of Russia. They are not like regular teenagers, and live in a fairy tale world, yet deeply connected to nature: they go hunting and fishing, can use a joiner’s chisel, play with ghosts at abandoned places, do not want to move to a city, and love nature. Mature and childish. Naive and enigmatic. In this ongoing project I want to show the mysteriousness of the world of these brothers.

The narrative in ‘Ivan and the Moon’ is neither chronological nor event related. It does not have a strict and one-way-to-read plot. All the images are connected to each other on the level of correlated motives and on the level of hypothetical story interpretations. Each picture is supposed to provoke some inquiry about ‘What is going on?’

Moreover, the two brothers are reflections of each other. Many people might even think that they are twins. The main corpus of works contains their individual portraits, so that it is no longer clear who is who. It was also important to show that the world around the boys is itself magical and their games and fantasies are consequences of being a part of this world.

My aim is to follow the brothers through their life (I met them at a folklore expedition) and ‘document’ things that are impossible to document: the world of a boy’s fantasies, ghosts, gods, spirits of specific places, magic itself. Such things usually can not be literally depicted. As J. Szarkowski stated in his famous work ‘Mirrors and Windows’: ‘most issues of importance cannot be photographed’. My goal is to try to photograph the ‘unphotographable’ side of the matter and challenge some formal criteria of ‘classical’ documentary.”

Ivan and the Moon can be seen here

┐ Ivan Mikhailov └

© Ivan Mikhailov, Untitled, from the series Space for Solitude, 2009

© Ivan Mikhailov, Untitled, from the series Space for Solitude, 2009

“I live in a small provincial town. Like a separate world with its own sense of time, space and solitude. Here time passes slowly, sometimes I think it stops altogether, and space is filled with an unreal quietude.

In this project I have tried to combine man’s inner and outer space. Tried to demonstrate this with landscapes and interiors that found me rather than the other way around. I am interested in communication without words, the dialogue inside a human being with his own internal world. The people I photographed for the project live in this town. I have mixed with them for many years and they know me well. When we met up they would each tell me their own version of solitude.

I needed to tell you this story as a way of coping with my own solitude. With that painful and oppressive state you avoid, although you understand that solitude is necessary, essential as the air you breathe. The only way to encounter yourself.”

More of Iven’s work here

║ Ira Tviga ║

© Ira Tviga, Untitled, from the series Sound-light, 2010

© Ira Tviga, Untitled, from the series Soundstills 0.00001

“I move sound. Noise from one location is manifest elsewhere, and in another dimension. I turn sound into 3 dimensional objects which appear to be flat, and then heighten this sense of flattening, and of silence, with the hush of a photograph.

Humans have long been intruiged by visualising sound waves as we are, supposedly, ‘better’ at seeing than hearing. How does one even begin to compare the senses? There are more neurons in our brains devoted to the visual than the aural, and so we might think we are more able to analysize data when it comes from a visual realm.”


More of Tviga’s work here

║ Lucia Ganieva ║


© Lucia Ganieva, Untitled, from the series The Factory


© Lucia Ganieva, Untitled, from the series The Factory

Factory is a series of photographs taken in a textile factory in the city of Ianovo, some 275 km north east of Moscow. Ianovo was known as ‘the city of brides’, as the majority of the population was made up of women who worked in the textile industry. In the age of the Tsars, the then village was the centre of the industry in Russia, with all kinds of cloth being manufactured in more than 30 plants. These days, however, due mainly to the competition from countries with low labour costs, such as China, almost all of the factories have had to close. At the moment, no more than handful are still active. Despite this there is hope that these plants last a while longer.”

Lucia Ganieva

To see more of Lucia’s work click here