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2019. March FrSaSuMoTuWeThFrSaSuMoTuWeThFrSaSuMoTuWeThFrSaSuMoTuWeThFrSaSu Actual program:
2019-03-26
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DECEMBER. Orosz elégiaDECEMBER. Orosz elégiaDECEMBER. Orosz elégia
DECEMBER. Russian Elegy

DECEMBER. Orosz elégia
Russian
Director: Igor VAGANOV
8 min. 2016,
without dialogue
Producer: Igor Vaganov
E-mail:
Music: Michael Gordon
Cast:
Christine P

Through the poetic nerve of Brodsky, the profoundly dramatic music by Gordon, the ritual dance of Pollock paintings, the images of photographic art of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries referred to as pictorialism in history, and one of its most prominent representatives – an outstanding French photographer Robert Demachy. December in black and white shades of Thanatos in search of discovering a new world. When the borderline between reality and artificiality is inconceivably unsteady, and the unconscious is already somewhere nearby. When the image verges on the picturesque copper-plate engravings of the past. When, instead of the thingness, currents of light and shadow become protagonists of a compositional and probably insightful narration.

Men’s lives turn into scratches of pen on paper, into the stitching of letters, their tiny wedges and hooks; and - since it is slippery work - into commas and colons. Only consider how often, meaning to write the letter “M” in some word, the pen will have stumbled and fashioned two eyebrows instead.
That is, ink on the page is more honest than blood.

by Joseph Brodsky

«... ink on the page is more honest than blood». These lines by Brodsky have served as the basis for creating such short sound/visual poetics, following the paths of creative pursuit of European and American photographic art of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries referred to as pictorialism in history, and, in particular, one of its most prominent representatives – an outstanding French photographer Robert Demachy (1859-1936), whose technique and experiments inspired me in my previous work Death Day (2014) two years earlier. Pictorialism was an echo of the 19th century. It is an avant-garde trend in photography; its principle is blending the image and the paintings – pictorialists interweave reality and artificiality while processing images. To achieve this effect, they used special techniques of shooting and printing - soft-focus lenses, filters, dichromate and silver salt processing, etc. Their works revealed dominant interest not in objects, but in the stream of light and shadow as compositional and probably substantial elements. The works by pictorialist photographers are significantly influenced by Austrian symbolism, English Pre-Raphaelitism, German Jugendstil, French Art Deco, and especially impressionism. After Freud’s and Jung’s research on the unconscious, photographers focused on studying personality via the camera, trying to convey the experience of the soul – a chance to see the beauty not only in the world outside, but also within the personality, disclosing the inner world of an artist. This idea was later developed in surreal photography of postmodernism, including Diane Arbus and Sally Mann.

Pictorialism in Russia lasted a decade longer than in the West, and it is hard to tell what Russian art photography could look like now if not for communist policy in the 30s. Soviet ideologues regarded pictorialism as a “relic of the bourgeoisie”.

Since Bill Morrison films, I discovered and love the music of Michael Gordon. The sound always gives me inspiration to think in images better. I loved Gordon’s music at first sight, and then his dramatic sound and poetic lines of Brodsky helped me build a dramaturgy of the plot. When the ink-like visual style of the image and narration is more honest than blood...

'In this process, there was something akin to myself - when I was engaged in painting and graphics, for a long time I wanted somehow to 'revitalize' my artworks, turn their static nature to continuous motion. And this search has led me once to the idea of making movies... That's why I often say that I don’t shoot movies but draw them …' – from the letter to Peter Tscherkassky, May 2016

DECEMBER. Orosz elégia
Igor VAGANOV

Igor Vaganov is a Russian rock journalist, visual artist, videomaker, cultural studies expert, producer, organizer, and participant of a number of media and art projects in Russia and abroad.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Vaganov


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