Review on: Lorenzo Vitturi – Dalston Anatomy

The 5th Floor

Lorenzo Vitturi’s Dalston Anatomy, exhibition was shown in The Photographer’s Gallery from the 1st of August until the 18th of October in 2014. The artist wanted to show a vibrant still life capture of images. He did not only show the images to the viewer but made the exhibition in a weirdly surrounding way. There is a huge contrast in between the two exhibitions I am writing about (Primerose), showing at the time in the gallery. Not only in the theme but the way they are presented. He recreated this show from elements that were collected/found from a market, some of these are the backgrounds of his images, by this creating a similar environment for the photographed subjects which can be also found at markets.FullSizeRender

The used space is very different to the usual concepts / settings. As I entered the room, I had to stand and peek around for a while before starting to view the images/sculptures, it was just something you had to take in. I have to say I was more interested in the hole concept of the showroom then in his images, which were amazing as well. I love the colours!  I would just look at the space from different heights and different areas of the room in order to see something; trying to understand his creation of this extreme space.

I find similarity in his photographs and his sculpture in the middle of the room. The photo with different fruits piled up on each other is similar to the sculpture where everything is piled up again, different pieces of things he found on the streets and wanted to give them a new meaning. I can’t relate at all to the sculpture with everything placed on top of everything, I more likely adore simplicity in art and if it is the opposite of minimal, it has to have a very good reason and meaning for me to like it but Vitturi made his point, giving a new meaning to subjects that can’t be used anymore.

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He put the pictures on random places of the wall, it is a small but perfectly formed exhibition he has used all of his space. A huge carpet is on the floor in the middle of the room, it’s like playing with the audience as well as taking them out of their comfort zones. That is what I completely felt like. Playing and taking me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to understand it, but there was no more behind it. I think the goal to achieve was to get the viewer’s attention this way as it did to me. Overall either way you look at it, you will have the same feeling around it. Something is not right.

“Can I / Am I allowed to step on the carpet or not?” “Can I go under this display or not?” “Why is that picture so high up on the ceiling? Or Why is that so low?” “There is a shed in the corner?”

Pictures on the walls are connected with the ground instead of hanging off the walls, it gives me a feeling as “messing the system” and he completely wanted nothing to be where it would have belonged to, as usual.

It is a very colourful, intensive exhibition to take in and feels like nature with the photos of fruits everywhere. Part of a shed is standing in the corner that shows again a completely different environment. He represents the dying fruits in such an elegant way. The one picture I really liked from the fruit selection is the photograph of the bananas.

deadbananasBehind the pictures, the main idea of his, stands, which is; he kept these fruits for many weeks in order to be able to photograph it in the stage of “being dead”. He wanted to show, something that is similar for me to “Life after death”, obviously these fruits…well, no one would want to eat them anymore. For this, they are dead, but him photographing it, gave a new life, meaning they didn’t end up in the bin instead now they were shown to many people.

Happy bananas in heaven!

Overall, I had feelings, questions and thoughts about this exhibition that didn’t leave me alone while I was there until I decided: I do like it, but I don’t, his idea is agreeable and on point but they way he presented it is annoying although loveable.

Thank you for this show and for reading!

Review on Primerose: Early Colour Photography in Russia

Здравствуйте!

I have visited this exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery in September, on which I am writing a review for my blog. Welcome my thougths, and feel happy to share your’s. ( :

The Primerose exhibition presents the blossoming Russian photography from 1860 to the 1970’s. Both, the history of Russia through photographs and the start then development of colour photography is presented at this show.Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 20.30.21

All the photos were arranged in historical order, which made it appear as a journal through time. From the 1860’s prints were painted by hand with watercolour and oil paints. First used on portraits and landscapes then used in architecture. Later on colour photography was used as propaganda in the soviet days and artists weren’t allowed to spend their time doing photography as art.

What interested me in this exhibition was, the start of colour photography when artists painted on their photos, the very start of colour photography in Russia and the way artists had to live with the daily soviet politician rules. These two subjects got my attention and although many other important information came across me at this exhibition these draw my attention. Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 20.30.43

At the beginning of the first showroom, I was taken back to the mid 1800’s Soviet flowery family portraits and Russian landscapes.

To me, what they wanted to show back in the 1800’s so realistically, feels surreal today.  What made it more interesting is the reason of what parts of the pictures were coloured. At first, there was only little colouring, few bits that had to stand out and made it look more real, the lips, clothes and maybe some background. The artist coloured the parts which had to stand out, maybe the beauty of the women or her beautiful cultural clothes. What I had in mind is, why did they colour only parts of the image first? Once they started to paint it why did they only do few bits? They left the part of it grey and some colours. A good example is the picture shown below which is one of a set, by 1910’s V. Yankovsky, PT. Ivanov, and Anonymous.

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He coloured the parts of the clothes that were red, important in military. In this photograph, the soldier’s rank could be it’s significance. The people are photographed in military clothes so that is the main reason of their pictures being taken and the artists uplifted the meanings by outlining the red.

Then came the architectural reasons and the landscapes. Everything was repainted. The coloured landscapes are as perfect paintings.

This image below on the left, was made by Dmitry Yezuchevsky – The Bridge Construction 1880 – 1980’s.

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 By the late 19th century an active process of Europeanization was influencing in Russia, the architecture the clothing and the way of life reflected this at the time.

The second section of the exhibition shows the 20th century’s photographic documentation, it became a priority of the Soviet Empire.

Soviet art had to reflect happy people. Following the WWI the Soviet government supported photography as an important tool for propaganda. In 1932 the USSR adopted socialist realism, as the single acceptable method in art, including photography, there was no place for modernism or pictorialism. Along with the pictorialist trends, Russian photographers received international awards for their art. Pastoralist themes were dangerous references as socialists realism was concerned, for this a number of photographers were baScreen Shot 2014-12-03 at 19.52.48nned from creating art and were moved in to labour camps. Vasily Ulitin was one of the photographers who was freed, found it hard to adapt the reality and tried to portrait revolutionary subjects having been given the right to work by the Bolsheviks.

The way to create art to present in Russia was through the soviets but what they wanted wasn’t really art.

Vasily Ulitin – Red Army Man 1932  Three colored bromoil print (on the right)

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 19.56.26  Although the exhibition was not war centred it had a few          pictures that was very strong in appearance. The political life made photography to be a prior documentation. The other example on history I would like to put into this context is the photo collage of Lenin’s funeral, made by Alexander Rodchenko, (Molodaya Gvardia Magazine, 1924 Photo montage with cardboard paper, typographic print and gouache).(on the left) What a powerful montage!

Growing up around family, specifically grandparents but parents as well, who have been through communism I heard a lot about it around the house. Thinking about the fact, back in the time all the people who saw this very same picture of the huge political dictators, what more and strong release and feelings went to all the people who have suffered from their ideas.

Very interesting to see and also a great experience.

If you missed it, you can see all the photographs here,  from where I have presented the photographs shown on my blog and I used photos from The Photographer’s Gallery’s website as well.

T h a n k  Y o u !