Everyday Objects/cultural Treasures.
Photographs by Vadim Gushchin.
Schilt Publishing, 2013. 96 pp., 50 color illustrations, 11½x12¼".
We live in the Universe of Malevich, though we very rarely notice it. Vadim Gushchin photographs “Everyday Objects” in such a way that it is immediately obvious that they have originated from Malevich’s Black Square.
The main idea of design is the sparing use of form. El Lissitzky, a pupil of Kazimir Malevich, was the first to formulate this idea in relation to the industrial object. Malevich used the expressive means of painting sparingly. Lissitzky transformed his world for the needs of production. Consequently, Malevich can be found in the depths of an industrial object.
In his rejection of illusionism, Vadim Gushchin follows in the path of Malevich. Because when we talk about pure forms, we recall Malevich – his works, reduced to the depiction of the pure plane.
A paradoxical effect arises when photographing objects. It would appear that reality is being documented. That is to say, things are presented as they are. But in fact, in order to do this, things are taken beyond their usual context. That is, each separate object is placed in a meta position in relation to reality. And the better the shooting is done, the more accurately the object is reproduced, and the bigger the size, and the better the lens, the more that object will be alienated from its habitual existence. Once photographed, objects rise above themselves. In Gushchin’s artistic space, industrial objects are transformed into sculptures. And each of these sculptures gives witness to its source – the Universe of Malevich.
With regard to the working surface of Gushchin’s still-lifes, it should be perceived as being abstract-material. Except for in one or two series (for example, with books, which could be described as the most realistic due to the special spirit of historicism which is manifest in it), it does not remind us of anything. Because the setting is photographed from above, the working surface hovers in space, creating a support for the objects, but not for our efforts to perceive, which are constantly thrown into bewilderment that corresponds in Gushchin’s compositions to gaping darkness that opposes the objects’ characteristics. Perhaps this is the most expressive image of his still-lifes, found long ago and cultivated by him. It is the basic concept of his photographic philosophy. Gushchin’s photography is not created from light, but rather its absence, structuring all of his visual imagery. The heroes in his still-lifes are estranged from all earthly things, like the colour planes of Suprematist compositions. Gushchin’s photography reveals the fundamental duality of culture: the abstract nature of objects in it and the specificity of colour.