Photo/Synthesis

Photo/Synthesis (2018-2019) is a series of type C contact prints created in a color darkroom by arranging man-made (fabric scraps, plastic) and organic (plants, seeds) materials, often found at various sites. This choice was inspired by Arte Povera movement and working with the everyday, when primary forms help to bring out awareness of environmental forces, silently present in daily life. Remixing shapes of the natural world with emerging geometric patterns taught me about the dynamics of collaboration and chance, order and chaos. Indeed, we now live in the world of dichotomies, and I was interested in testing some of them in my work: micro and macro, light and darkness, wholeness and fragmentation, live organic matter and emptiness of cosmos.

When exploring ways to address something that can seem like a paradox, I came across historic Zen Buddhist art that was often trying to depict a riddle, or perhaps something too ephemeral to envision, for example, simultaneously doing and not doing. Working in the darkroom is also very meditative and repetitive, and it’s a way of letting go of expectations. Movement in the dark results in a direct, immediate experience, and what ends up being caught on a light-sensitive surface is a movement or a transformation, as opposed to a clash of polar opposites. Just like the photograms show the light itself interacting with chemicals, these images bring attention to the performative nature of creative process, chance effects, and intuitive states of being.

 © 2020 by Tatiana Gulenkina / info@tatianagulenkina.com / @tatiana_gulenkina

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Tatiana

Gulenkina