Khmel Victor | Sukhoveeva Elena

Projects. GOLDEN AUTUMN (2007)

Golden Autumn(Indian Summer)is an important Russian pop-brand which is always present in the subconscious. Russian frost gives our poets a feeling of vivacity and strength, makes the blood run faster, bringing back sensations of youth and happiness. The national temperament, associated with the current national symbol - the bear, prefers the autumn transparency of dense forest, when the gifts of the season are clearly visible. Dying to be revived once more, the modest nature of Russia suddenly explodes with bright colors - the gold of Byzantine cupolas, behind which, in the foggy distance, one perceives the existence of impossible dreams about Tsargrad and the domes of Hagia Sophia, the return of which is the only thing that can, like in a fairy-tale, bring back the greatness and the authenticity of the Slavonic world. But the problem that this same autumn awakes is another hereditary national misfortune - Russian melancholy.

The photo-project about gold and autumn, created by the Krasnodar artists, should be regarded with the changing climatic landscape in mind. Summer here begins in May and practically last until November, while the short fall arrives only in December in Mayakovskis poem Krasnodar, originally called Dogs Nook, the spirit of the place is represented in a single line: The sun is burning Krasnodar, as if the red of the cheeks. Beautiful!). The Krasnodar Territory was, since the times of the pre-revolutionary Yekaterinodar, as it was called then, an all-Russian granary, where even a common stick sunk into the ground would start blossoming.

This is why deserted industrial zones and settlements look particularly striking here: nature once more returns its domains, growing through the remnants of the metallic constructions. The once inhabited space, now devoid of human presence, the great ruins of civilization, romanticized in the past by such people as Caspar David Fredrich, in this context lose much of their pathos, but preserve a sense of romantic mystery. Its music, covered by dense greenery, can be heard best when the leaves are already gone, but the snow, which would smooth out the surface once more, has not yet fallen. But, however you treat them, ruins always have an atmosphere of grief, so a direct approach would at best have given material for a social reportage. The artists are interested in something absolutely different. By privatizing(even for a brief moment) the landscape, they change its mood in accordance with their own desires, literally drawing over nature with leaves of gold foil. Every object, singled out in the composition and stressed with gold, assumes an iconographic meaning: stairs leading to heaven, a road broken up by a tractor, forgotten laundry on a rope, an abacus, remains of a meal, a well with life-giving water, the shelter of a house. Looking at the results, one is surprised by the scope of the work. Essentially this is environment-art that turns landscape into an artobject, but in this instance represented by the photographic medium. Even though the unusual objects left on the spot already gave rise to local legends of a new coming.

Dmitriy Pilikin.

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