sno-109, november 2014

vsevolod vlaskine, moonrivers #5799, #8998, #0289, digital photographs, rag paper, 57x38cm, ed. 1 or 5, 2014

The photos of the moonrivers series came about through reliquishing control over the picture, subject, or movement. My main interest was in the spacial and temporal presense of human body, however any specific state of mind evoked during the production was not to inform the content of the images, but to maintain the state of no control over them. Both photographing and postprocessing were based on a handful of minimal mechanical protocols.

The moonrivers series follows a work on the same visual material in collaboration with a choreographer and dancer Tess de Quincey, which was based on introspective Bodyweather techniques. Those images acted as records of short orbits or syllables circumscribed by the human body in its interaction with the place and light. The moonrivers try to go beyond the content of those early records towards the investigation of forms of flow to which we are exposed.

Flow is something alien to the human movement. Due to its sceletal structure, the mechanics of human body does not allow flow in its motion, its nature being compression, extension, and rotation. Flowing movement mostly is either a poetic metaphor or a highly controlled, culturally conditioned imitation as in rituals, dance, or some sports like gymnastics or martial displays, which often would be associated with arts.

The bloodstream, neurotransmission waves, or breathed air constantly run through us, but we have a very limited or no direct access to or control of them. Awareness of those aspects of our physicality comes from the practices distanced from human subjectivity: science on one hand, and on the other, oriental concentration systems like yoga, taijiquan, or meditation, as well as certain dance regimens like Bodyweather.

However, in an attempt to take control out of equation, I was trying to move beyond the point of observation, introspection, or performance. One thing that perhaps is given to us seemingly with no mediation is the perceptual in-flow. Among the still imagery, the landscape form offers itself as a flow, since apart from its representational and structural aspects, it can be deliberately shaped to present an unobstructed flow of the eye glancing it across.

The moonrivers connect body, which is a part me and yet out of my control and does not correspond to anything in my mind even subconsciously, to the flow of a landscape or a map through the mediation of light of the full moon and working out a routine of trivial motions. My movement protocols evolved from various motion patterns including Bodyweather exercises. Gradually, I reduced them to the bare minimum of control and introspection.

In the same way as the actual corporeal flows barely make any immediate sense to us, I tried to reduce the internal content of the images to zero. Instead of construction, the moonrivers series is based on selection external to it. Any other connotations coming with it are external: flow, rivers, rivers on the moon, the moonrivers, an accidental link to Mancini's song, the Moon as a dead celestial body, nostalgic absence, including nostalgic absence of oneself.

vsevolod vlaskine 2014


vsevolod vlaskine, moonrivers #0289, #5348, #8960, #5158, digital photographs, rag paper, 57x38cm, ed. 1 or 5, 2014