2022 — present
The afterimage arises as an optical illusion, in which an image
is preserved in front of the eyes, the source of which has already
disappeared. This vague, indistinct image usually disappears after a few
seconds, but can sometimes persist for a long time, turning into
a chronic, hallucinatory form. In the spring of this year, we were
forced to leave St. Petersburg for Yerevan, leaving for the first time
for a long time the city in which our previous life had passed. We began
to use photography to reflect the process of emigration, when the
images of two places pulsate in memory, interpenetrate and overlap one
Long-term fixation on the image of one city
generates a trace of the image, which is superimposed on new places,
mixing impressions beyond recognition. An image from the past, like
a bright flash of light, is imprinted on the retina, leaving
a disturbing trace. Memory traces can also be compared to a medical scan
or x-ray image that captures some sort of trauma or fracture caused
by a departure. The “Afterimage” series for us is not only a series
of phantom images mixing the past and the present, but also a kind
of set of radiographs that capture the processes of internal healing.
To create photos, we used pinhole — shooting with a lensless camera, which arose at the dawn of photography. It has a different relationship with time than normal human perception. What seemed obvious is smeared and dissolved, the invisible, on the contrary, manifests itself and comes to the fore. The movement of rays of light is suddenly visible; silhouettes of people, on the contrary, are erased and turn into shadows, as if fixing the very process of memory formation. Image defects become part of the narrative, reflecting the illusions and distortions that arise in the mind. An afterimage, like a photograph, can exist in the form of a positive and a negative. The first appear on a dark background, if before that you look at the sun or bright light for a long time. The latter, on the contrary, occur on a light background and invert the colors of the image. Oscillation is also possible — their periodic flickering. The flickering rhythm of the images of this exhibition is connected with our experience of reality, in which two cities become reflections of each other, mirroring one another and merging in the imagination into a single non-existent space.
“Afterimage”, Personal photo project at the group exhibition “Thirteen” at the “Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art” (NPAK), Yerevan, Armenia. 2022.