as part of the 10th Moscow International Biennale
Митя Лейкин. Призрак кино 1988г.
Цифровой отпечаток с авторского негатива
Date: 11 March — 16 April, 2017
Venue: MMOMA, Tverskoi Bulvar, 9

‘Given & Stolen’ by Igor Vereshchagin
‘Portraits Beyond Time’ by Sergei Kuksin
‘Sitting on a Beautiful Hill’ by Dmitry Skornyakov (Mitya Leykin)

As part of the 10th Moscow International Biennale ‘Fashion and Style in Photography 2017’ the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presents projects from contemporary Russian photographers: ‘Given & Stolen’ by Igor Vereshchagin, ‘Portraits Beyond Time’ by Sergei Kuksin and ‘Sitting on a Beautiful Hill’ by Dmitry Skornyakov (Mitya Leykin), in which they reflect on the relationship between the photographer and his subjects, and the special magic sparked at the moment of shooting, when artist and model begin an invisible dialogue.

Igor Vereshchagin is a master of genre and portrait photography. He was born in the city of Kamensk-Uralsky, in the Sverdlovsk region. Since 1994 he has lived in Moscow. He collaborated with leading Russian magazines, from Ogonyok to Classic Rock and Digital Photo. He has also worked as photographer on film shoots with Sergei Bodrov, Pyotr Todorovsky and Garik Sukachov, and created album covers, billboards and posters for groups such as The Untouchables, Splean, Bi-2 and Jethro Tull.

The ‘Given & Stolen’ series features portraits of celebrities including Annie Leibovitz, Ringo Starr, Iggy Pop, Garik Sukachov, etc., and genre scenes ‘captured’ by the photographer while travelling the world. The project is accompanied by the author’s electro-acoustic soundtrack, combined with episodes of the avant-garde ‘live’ sound of five cellos.

Igor Vereshchagin looks at the essence of the photographer’s work, the ways he interacts with the world and the magic that exists at the moment each image is created. There is an initial understanding and trust between the author and model in the portrait session, making it a joint task, of dialogue and cooperation.
When it comes to street photography, the artist’s ability to ‘seize’ the most vivid moment from life always takes precedence. Can it be seen as ‘stolen’? Or does it actually belong to the photographer who managed to ‘catch’ this particular moment in his focus?

In the project ‘Portraits Beyond Time’, Rossiyskaya Gazeta photojournalist Sergei Kuksin places his subject in the most neutral and non-informative setting, allowing him to remain alone and tell the story by himself. According to Sergei Kuksin, when taking a psychological portrait the photographer’s main aim is to use the minimum of external expressive means. The surroundings often facilitate disclosure of the image. In this manner he has created portraits of Georgi Daneliya, Mark Zakharov, Yuri Bashmet, Fazil Iskander, Oleg Yankovsky, Igor Butman, Renata Litvinova, Yevgeny Primakov, Dmitry Medvedev, etc., as well as international stars like Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Giorgio Armani, Gérard Depardieu, Hugh Grant, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Till Lindemann (singer with Rammstein), and others.

‘The psychological portrait is a special direction in the art of photography, revealing the most clandestine aspects of a person’s character,’ says Sergei Kuksin. ‘Photo artists use it as a portrait genre to reflect the breadth of the subject’s inner world, show experiences or feelings and penetrate to the finest recesses of their soul. Especially when applied to the most powerful people in this world, to famous or striking figures. Whether they are politicians, academics or actors. Although it might also be an incidental passer-by with a soulful face... You should be an invisible photographer, when the image is not the result of a reaction to you, when you become close, ‘familiar’, never distracting the subject from his own thoughts and deeds...’

Dmitry Skornyakov (Mitya Leykin) is one of the brightest and most original authors from Yoshkar-Ola. The peak of Skornyakov’s photographic work lasted from the late 80s to mid-90s. While actively participating in the photographic life of Yoshkar-Ola he captured the ‘Wind of Time’ in the Russian provinces, depicting ‘1980s Alternative Culture’ outside Moscow and St. Petersburg.