Inter(view)/ Aleksey Kondratyev


© Aleksey Kondratyev

Con este post inauguro un nuevo formato en el blog, las Entre(vistas). Aleksey me ha dado la oportunidad de hablar con él y ahondar un poco más sobre su último trabajo fotográfico, y estoy encantada de poder compartirlo con vosotros.

Las fotografías de su serie Fabricated adventures están hechas en lugares que emulan un entorno natural con el propósito de ser utilizados como lugares de ocio y relax. Tal como vivimos en nuestro ambiente actual, la experiencia de las personas está determinada y limitada por el tiempo, el clima y los espacios físicos que nos rodean. Los lugares recreados en este trabajo fotográfico proporcionan un escape temporal a estas limitaciones y a la realidad física actual y su entorno geológico.

Turismo de masas, entornos irreales, naturaleza muerta… Paraísos artificiales al alcance de la mano. ¿Podrán estos lugares llegar a sustituir a los entornos originales y la experiencia real?.

Imágenes inéditas de la serie, cortesía de Aleksey Kondratyev

* Transcribo la entrevista en inglés, tal y como fue realizada. Si tenéis interés en que la traduzca solo tenéis que pedirlo.

ContradictioN. How did you get into photography and what does it mean to you?
Aleksey. I took a photography class when I was fourteen and I liked it. Photography has no one agreed upon ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose,’ but people use it in their own ways to do what they want. To me, photography (at least straight photography) can only literally depict what exists in physical reality, and so it’s dependent on pre-existing things. When I say that photography can only depict things in physical reality, I do not mean that photography cannot look at ideas like culture or other things that are not typically thought to be visible. Photography examines these ideas through appropriating reality and by placing it within new contexts and perspectives. If somebody puts a frame around something with their camera and prints it out or puts it on a screen, etc., then the end product is a subjective representation of reality. This subjective representation of something puts it in a new context, and as a result photography becomes a way to ‘teach’ or show people the world differently than they might perceive it consciously.

C. About your last series “Fabricated adventures”, how did you conceive the idea of working about these sites?
A. Originally I started the project photographing ski resorts around Michigan. In Michigan, there are few ski resorts that are on natural hills; most are made out of landfills that became large enough to ski on. I thought the idea of a man-made landscape like that was interesting, and into the project a friend suggested that there are other places which were constructed in similar, ‘artificial’ ways, so I expanded the idea to other places like indoor golf places, wave pools, etc.
There is something that attracts me about these locations and how people use them. People are born within a specific period in history and in a specific geological location. This limits and to a certain point determines their experiences. These environments are constructs of people’s desire to ‘escape’ these limitations through a simulation of a natural environment that is different than their own. In a way, these environments form a hyperreality for humans’ desire to experience more than their present reality allows.

C. Some images have human figures and some others don’t, what does it mean in the series?
A. I like the aesthetic of Flemish-Renaissance painters like Pieter Bruegel, so in part my choice to include a human figure is influenced by that. I think that the images in which I include people are in a way less open-ended than the ones that lack a human presence. You see how people experience the environment and that gives the images more context maybe. I try to counterbalance the images that do contain humans in them with images in which you can only see the ‘idea’ of human presence, rather than a literal representation it. I think that this leaves room for interpretation and lets whoever is looking at the photographs make their own meaning from them.

C. What research did you do for this project?
A. The majority of research that I did for this project involved me finding places to photograph. I spent a lot of time looking at tourist websites trying to find locations.

C. Who are your influences?
A. I like the history of painting, so I think that affects the way that my work looks to a certain point. Obviously other photographers influence my work too. I like Sze Stung Leong, Massimo Vitali, Alexander Grosnky, and others of that ‘style’ that exists somewhere in between documentary and ‘art’ photography.

C. What is the next step in the project, or your visions for the future?
A. I am still going to continue working on Fabricated Adventures for a while. I’m also doing research and writing a grant proposal right now for my next project that I hope to start on in the summer.



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2 responses to “Inter(view)/ Aleksey Kondratyev”

  1. Andrés says:

    Great interview, and great new section, good luck! AM.

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