On October 23, in Gallery XL, a personal exhibition of Sergey Sapozhnikov, a photo artist from Rostov-on-Don, opens, with works from the Tiergarten (Zoo) series. The exhibition will feature large-format color photographs made by the author last year. In the project “Dance”, which was exhibited in the XL gallery three years ago, the main visual constant was the energy and plasticity of the human body, but this series is devoted to a different topic: the photographs depict empty cages for wild animals from the Berlin Zoo.
Sergey Sapozhnikov - Russian photographer and artist, participant of numerous exhibitions in Russia and abroad (in particular: personal exhibitions “The Drama Machine” Don Foundation, Rostov-on-Don, 2016), Voronezh (Voronezh Center of Contemporary Art, Voronezh, 2016), Total Pictures (Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan, 2014), a participant in the “Museum of Predictions” project (MMOMA, Moscow, 2014). Works are in the collections of Gallery XL, the State Tretyakov Gallery, MMOMA, the Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin Foundation, and others.
According to Sapozhnikov, the pictures from the Tiergarten series can be considered, in a certain sense, reportage - they were spontaneously taken during the author's three-week stay in Berlin and did not require special coordination. As the photographer notes, the result was interesting even for himself: the frames turned out to be somewhat similar to still lifes, and the absence of animals (the zoo's pet at that time were on evening walks in street enclosures) allowed to concentrate on things in cages, photo design, space and frame setting. As Sapozhnikov says, in this series he was not interested in animals - just as in the series for the photo book “The City” (2015-2016) he was not interested in people. That is why the photographs of the “City” show the empty courtyards of Voronezh, in which there are no passersby or tenants. “My main object of observation is reality as it is,” explains the artist. The works from the Tiergarten series are in color, in contrast to the photographs of The City, which were made on a Leica monochrome camera. In this case, it seemed to the author more appropriate, but in the future he plans to continue his creative search in black and white photography.
For the artist himself in the Tiergarten series, the visual component of the resulting works is of the greatest interest: “There is nothing behind this, except for what we see,” explains the artist. “I want to say the simplest things in the photos from this series: it's beautiful, but the term“ beautiful ”implies a perfect coincidence of circumstances, in which there is a place, there is a design, there is light and there is a general line, over which the designers worked. On the one hand, they, it seems, tried to create an environment for animals, on the other, they obviously played with aesthetics. And I wanted to show how this in itself looks.”
The exposition will feature 8 photographs: in the entire series there are much more of them, and in the future Sapozhnikov plans to continue working on it, however these photos seemed to the author to be the most suitable for the experimental exhibition in the XL gallery.