A photo exhibition entitled “XXI. My Pacific Ocean” is set to open in the Krymsky Val building of the State Tretyakov Gallery on October 10. The exhibition is the result of the joint efforts of Russia’s Ministry of Culture, the Tretyakov Gallery and RIA Novosti's Fotofond: Photography Zone project.The exhibition consists of more than 300 photos, selected out of 60,000 photos taken by 21 photographers on a one-week expedition in 21 APEC countries. Black and white or color, analog or digital, shot with a monolens, telephoto lens or wide-angle lens, the photos reflect current trends in photography, with its diverse styles and techniques, and reveal each photographer's unique individual vision.
The artistic essence of the project elevates it far above the documentary style. The stories are never taken to their logic conclusion; rather, they flow from one to another like colorful dreams, leading the viewer into a world created by the photographer.
“The difference in the photographers’ personal styles is more important to this project than the differences in distant cultures. Geographical distance becomes meaningless, erased by the photographer's vision, as their shots create an entirely new, personal geography. The ‘XXI. MY PACIFIC OCEAN’ exhibition is the result of their immersion into countries that were new to them. This idea is underscored through the name of the exhibition, with the word ‘my’ emphasizing this personal quality,” says Anastasia Davydova, head of the RIA Novosti Exhibition Projects Center.
“Modern tourism is largely about relaxing and sightseeing. A first-time visitor to a country can’t help but take touristy photos. But the participants in the ‘XXI. My Pacific Ocean’ project took a non-touristic approach, deliberately avoiding seductive postcard images of leisure in attractive settings,” says Kirill Vasilenko, head of the RIA Novosti Cultural & Special Media Projects Department.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a film based on the images of the expedition's participants: Natalia Berkutova, Mikhail Dashevsky, Alla Dolgaleva, Emil Gataullin, Viktoria Ivleva, Lyudmila Ketslakh, Yuri Kozyrev, Nikolai Kulebyakin, Sergei Maximishin, Nikita Mashkin, Igor Mikhalyov, Dmitry Morgulis, Alexei Myakishev, Georgy Pinkhasov, Svyatoslav Ponomaryov, Boris Register, Andrei Shapran, Vitaly Smirnov, Vladimir Syomin, Sergei Trapezin and Artyom Zhitenev. Some of these photographers will meet with the public during the opening gala to share their impressions of the project.
“It was important to me to portray the atmosphere of the place where I had never been before. Unlike other art forms, photography does not require imagination – only the power of observation in its most acute form. We photographers are scene hunters, and the more unexpected, even bizarre, the scene is, the greater its value. Lighting, scenery, people – it’s all changeable. The rest depends on the photographer’s hunting instinct,” says Georgy Pinkhasov, who visited Mexico during the expedition.
“The eyes, the face and the setting say more than the most eloquent words. They allow the photographer as artist to penetrate and express the most profound psychology of life, which is the main attraction of photography,” says Mikhail Dashevsky, who went to China.
“I had never been to Chile before, and I learned some captivating things about the land and its people during the trip. At one point, an Indian embraced me and said, indicating with his hand a vegetable market and people sleeping there on the ground near their horses and carts: ‘Take your shots, brother.’ So I took shots of workers, Indians, fishermen and slum dwellers, because this is real, while beautiful scenery says nothing about the situation," says Nikita Mashkin, another project participant.
The “XXI. My Pacific Ocean” photo exhibition is being held at the Krymsky Val premises of the State Tretyakov Gallery from October 10 through November 4.