Vik Laschenov: I Slept with Your Woman, Let’s Take a Photo
Used to work a lot with video and photography, currently mostly works as a choreographer, performer, and screenwriter. Studied Media Art at Rodchenko School. Exhibited his work during various festivals for young artists and contemporary art.
— I am lucky to fall in love often. I am still friends with some of my ex-girlfriends, I’ve met their men and their children. With others, we pretend like we’ve never met or never had anything between us, although in fact we did have something and it still goes on in a way. It doesn’t matter who dumped whom, because at some point you meet a person, the most important person, and everything else is no longer important. Everybody else before them becomes an ex. I am an ex. I can feel it especially well when I am near the woman I was in love with and her current man. I am standing close to her, and I notice that she still excites me, that she stirs memories. And at the same time I see him, see them happy together. And then I detach from the image of our past love.
In our culture, it is common not to speak about the exes, as the person you are currently dating would immediately start comparing themselves to the ex. This may lead to doubt, and doubt ruins everything, this is something that the state of being in love is afraid of most of all.
I tried to make friends with every couple as part of this project. We took a long walk in the park, we chatted and took pictures, and at the end, I asked her to take a picture of me and him together. I simply chose a suitable landscape and asked her to take a picture when she would feel like it. I was very afraid to ruin something in their relationship. One of my ex-girlfriends had a baby, the other one was pregnant — I haven’t even offered those girls to meet up. Some told me that I was crazy and refused to go to the park with me and their boyfriend. This is a pretty silly situation in general, when you call your ex up and say: “Hi, it’s Vik. Remember me? Grab your man and let’s go take some pictures in the park.”
I did not tell the men anything about my relationship with their girlfriend directly. When the three of us were in the park, I was as vulnerable as possible: the closeness to my ex, the impossibility to get even closer to her, and being absolutely estranged from the two. I think that the men felt something — that this situation was awkward and somehow wrong, as if we were doing something that we shouldn’t be doing. This was in the air, and it stayed in the photographs.
It all started with self-irony and curiosity, and ended with me traveling to several cities and stirring up memories from the past ten years. After that, I felt that I let go, I felt much lighter. As if something big has ended.