Photographer Spotlight: Alexey Titarenko and the City as Novel



very early in my life I learned that the most important and not what happening but how we perceive it since the beginning when I started to do photography the images was for me a way to tell a story about the thing that I was experienced personally and also to try to share my emotions that I also experienced in such and such place of the city where I lived in Leningrad now some petersburg Marcel Proust taught me that the only way to communicate and to share what I was feeling with others is the use of the metaphor once I understood base everything became so clear to me that once keep going chinko ekun well first I was using collages or photo montages as a data movement the superposition of several negatives it had always in narrative my serious first nomenclature of science had a narrative I was telling a story about the life I've had in a Soviet Union and also I was trying to write something of myself and for nomenclature of science I had written a small novel called the new culture of science when I had a group of photographs from my series city of shadows I immediately started to think about how may I create story from it that may play independent role from the photographs themselves I did it by by finally developing this approach to the collapse of the Soviet Union and I made this pretty important work that comprised about 45 to 60 photographs in the kind of the labyrinth that I made with transparent semi-transparent paper with the lamps above each photograph the visitors had to start from one point and finish to another point so they were reading my exhibition like you read the book and I realized that I made a novel somehow photographical novel from the CG it came when I found by chance white knights of Dostoevsky the Doceri story that I didn't read since the seventies and I was so hooked by even though I knew the snow but I decided to create a romantic series of images around it I call it black and white magic st. Petersburg but how to translate magic you can't just stay and keep going saying to the people this is magic they have to feel magic so the metaphor of the magic was to create by the way of the process called socialization this kind of surveil around the sound are not on the sander that's just somehow disperse the everything that is around in the kind of smooth humid atmosphere that correspond of the atmosphere of the city of st. Petersburg and it also makes images more romantic San Petersburg was built as a venice of the north originally for example on vasilevsky island where I was born there is no street so positive Skyland because there was no original streets it should be canals the Colonel's didn't work because some Petersburg obviously is not Venice and actually is created in just a nice environment grow up or mosquitoes so Pierre de Grey decided to cause all the canals and make just normal Street San Petersburg was connected to so many tragedy revolutions wars this massive hunger during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 110 years later I arrived to do anything 2001 ten years after the collapse of the Soviet Union I understood that I was always dreaming about Venice because it's definitely so happy place and people might go out there there was nothing that may upset you except maybe must give us again so that was my idea and I never did I start photographing awareness was always something reform happy Havana is a time machine so you don't need to invent a time machine exists for the people who born totalitarian country in Soviet Union when I was trying to figure out what I will encounter in hell and I would have never imagined the first thing that pops up to to me what the smell of the very older very cheap gasoline that doesn't exist anymore the Soviet cars was using the smell of gas Turkey made me so hot here and it was coming from the Soviet Karma squish that someone was trying to turn on and it wasn't actually so all these fumes of all the other arenas going up up to the window the bed-and-breakfast where I was staying so when I went out and and walked through Walt Havana all this old building remind me my walks through the courtyard when I was a kid I didn't know how to translate my emotions when I was a kid with the camera and now I knew how to do it so I was basically redoing the word that I should have done in early seventies by taking the pictures I was redoing it in Havana one our idea was a experienced artist well New York is the place where I leave and it took for me about 10 years to print if yours New York image because New York is is not of course not on other some Peters work like Venice it is not so it's Union that's Havana New York is the United States and that's very specific part of United States very different when I understood little bit of the city I was trying to translate it to the images creating is more dense more colorful introducing different dynamics different colors also that I never used before so to tell it to translate it now in the interview into the words it's quite different because I have to be quiet somehow literally show you what the differences I'm trying to do it more dance as the city is more dance trying to translate this atmosphere of canyons when you walk the canyons that they call Avenue when you walk and you are very small and then you think are very high so I was also use more and more structure that dominated not just a background small background one day people dominating the first plan but making the architecture dominate the people in New York so this is a huge difference there is no life without mystery otherwise the life is boring when you say mysterious means that there is something hidden in the image because it's everything is obvious there is no mystery right mysterious image means that image is complex that there is a first layer on the second level third level and in definite amounts of different level that you have to read and when you read they taught you second one you are you forgot already the first one and this endless readings the same image a different way you you feel that you still don't know something about that and this is what creating actually this feeling of mystery magic inside of the image

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