FROM DANCE TO DEATH –
THE WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF
FOUR BELARUSIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS
March 14th was supposed to mark the beginning of the 10th edition of CIRCULATION(S), a photography festival dedicated to young and emerging European artists held in Le Centqurte in Paris. Unfortunately, due to the current world health crisis Marion Hislen, founder of the festival, and her team were forced to make the tough decision of closing this year’s event until further notice. This however did not stop them from supporting the artists whose works were set to be shown during the 10th edition of the festival. An online project named STAY HOME(S) was launched in place of the event. Each day, on different platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) the work of cooperating artists is promoted. This vast group of creators includes four Belarusian photographers who were selected by CIRCULATION(S) staff during a visit to The Month of Photography in Minsk (MPM) 2019. Below you will find a short summary of their work. So stay tuned and be on the lookout!
PAVEL GRABCHIKOV – WITH THE EYES CLOSED
Born in 1985 in the capital of Belarus, Pavel is a UX designer and design strategy consultant by profession, photography is a hobby for him. His project, titled WITH THE EYES CLOSED documents the celebration of Navy Day in Russia (July 29th) in different cites – from Minsk to Moscow and Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. During these celebrations people dress up as soldiers, play war and mime death while the military displays its fleet of machines in big, boisterous parades.
The focus of these photographs are the people in them. These images, characterised by a continuous and omnipresent blur, evoke both dreams and the boundary between history and mere facts. With no captions the viewer is left to create his or her own story. This work puts things into perspective and challenges our benchmarks: how can we distinguish from one simple picture the “real” Ukrainian Revolution from parodies of it as re-enacted at public events?
IHAR HANCHARUK – PRE MORTEM
Ihar Hancharuk is a documentary photographer born in Baranovichi, Belarus. He is a graduate of the photography school of Saint Petersburg. Ihar Hancharuk works with documentary and art photography, video and archives. His projects focus on national identity, collective memory and the impact of mass media on the world.
PRE MORTEM, as the name suggests, revolves around the topic of death. Ihar in his pictures focuses on the process and tradition of preparing future grave sites in Belarus – steps from reserving the grave site to the carving of gravestones. These picture offer us a different perspective as most them are aerial photographs or close-ups.
MAXIM SARYCHAU – BLIND SPOT
Maxim Sarychau is a Belarusian photo-reporter and visual artist born in 1987. He works on long-term projects on the theme of violence of various nature and degrees performed by authoritarian governments or traditional societies. He focuses on the political and human dimensions of collective memory and history. His project titled BLIND SPOT tackles the topic of a States right to use force or violence through various structures and control systems such as police or other armed forces. These voids, these blurred areas of law come to light in some countries when the control exerted by society is insufficient. The visual recognition of demonstrators is then replaced by the big data and artificial intelligence, but the repressive nature of these actions remains the same.
MASHA SVYATOGOR – EVERYBODY DANCE!
Born in 1989, Masha Svyatogor is a Belarusian visual artist based in Minsk working with photography. She has taken part in various group exhibitions in Eastern European countries as well as in the USA, Canada, Malaysia and China. In 2018, she received the Best Photographer award from the Month of Photography in Minsk festival. At CIRCULATION(S) She will be presenting her project EVERBODY DANCE, a series of photomontages created from old Soviet propaganda magazines. Her creations break away from any official method of representation, thus revealing the gaps, the multiple layers and the inconsistencies inherent to the Soviet era.
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