“Maybe it’s time for you to find a normal job?”, “You’re already thirty, and you have not neither harrow nor barrow with your photography”, “So you shoot two and a half hours today? What are you doing the rest of the time?”, “Congratulations on the opening of the exhibition! We are very proud of you! Tell me, will they pay for this?”. I have often heard such says since I left my job in a government structure a few years ago and went into photographic freelancing.
Dylan Trigg, in his article “The psychoanalysis of ruins, ” argues: “A ruin is set aside from the surrounding world in its ability to contort our rational grasp on space and time. It belongs to an undead realm: of the past, yet haunting the present; dead but in ceaseless motion; devoid of life and yet constitutive of life. The peculiarity of the ruin is that it forces materiality to adhere to the logic of unreality. […] With this breakdown in thought and sense, anxiety enters the scene of the ruin”.
In the same way, as anxiety comes to the fore in my communication with people who remained in the past, “stable” life, but at the same time continue to distort my rational perception of myself through devaluation of creativity.
A person has the right not to be dependent on his workplace and is free to determine his own life. But in this performative act I go from the opposite and become attached to the instrument — the camera, setting the manual exposure control mode on the device. Pressing the shutter button opens the curtains, letting in light to the film, the reverse movement closes them.
Turning to Articles 91, 94 and 108 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, it is possible to establish the most classic in the Russian context, the norm of the duration of the working day. Eight hours, divided into two-time intervals by a lunch break, is how long I have to stand with my finger on the button. The efforts made will transform photographic practice into an absurdly simple relationship between mechanical action and a predetermined period, in the hope that this will endow it with signs of “normal work”. By aiming the lens at an abandoned building, a symbol of people in ruins, I try to hide from their toxic effects behind the temporal gap that occurs when the shutter is released.
You were (not) here