Fragile balance


The life of the community in Poteryaevka has been also captured by another young photographer from Moscow, Misha Maslennikov. The same persons, the same actions, but how different photos! Events and objects are reduced to a  minimum, the stories take place within the persons.


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Misha Maslennikov takes pictures not only in the Altai, but throughout Russia: in the villages near St. Petersburg, along the Volga, in the Don Cossack settlements, the northern lands of the Chukchi. His method is time-consuming: he moves into the village for weeks, lives and works together with the locals, and only rarely takes out the camera. He writes about this in his blog:


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“First of all, I live together with the people I’m photographing. I study their lives, I talk with them. The camera leaps out only at the moment when I feel the need to capture that particular case. And during this time I comprehend how much clearer and understandable the life of these people is in their own natural setting and against their own visual background. Actually, that’s what I try to convey to the viewer. In fact, I do not consider myself a master, just try not to make mistakes.

In my practice, I have relied on the traditional methods of anthropology, such as participant observation, oral history, direct contact, visual ethnography. It is impossible to understand the nature, to convey to the viewer a true story, a true meaning, the photograph cannot be true and alive if the photographer does not enter into the process and is not aware of the meaning he is capturing.”


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Inspecting the estate

Most pictures are extremely simple. In their focus there is one single face, figure or animal, and the rest of the image is blurred or insignificant. This figure, however, always radiates such an intense beauty that you feel: well yes, it is no stunt to capture well such a perfect face.

Probably this is what time is necessary for. The photograph must gradually discover the different kind of perfection of each face, so that when he takes out the camera, the image is already living in him. As if what we see in the picture, were not conveyed by the picture’s visual means – which seem to be almost unexisting – but directly from the figure’s personality. As a final stage of simplicity, the photo eliminates itself.


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Provincial photographer

Zero kilometer

3 comentarios:

Studiolum dijo...

This post was quoted in the beautiful photo blog “ici et maintenant”. Merci beaucoup!

Dominique dijo...

wooouh ! Gracias !

Studiolum dijo...

;)