New East Photo Prize: Lost Horizon by Danila Tkachenko
— I had never even considered photography before I moved in with girl who was a photographer. This was in 2009. Since that moment I’ve been interested in this medium and eventually decided to study at The Rodchenko Art School in Moscow.
I work with the topic of utopia in a wider sense as a metaphor for post-technological apocalypses. It took me three winters to shoot Restricted Areas and about one year of preliminary research. I always had in mind where I should go and what I needed to shoot. In the end the shooting took place in three former communist countries: Russia, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria.
Just like Restricted Areas, all the series I have produced have been an attempt to solve the puzzle of the surrounding world by the means of art. In fact the process is the same: searching for the right formal approach and researching through the internet.
Where Restricted Areas is a dystopia, Lost Horizon is a utopia. I think that the Soviet Union is a good example of a failed utopia. Nowadays people gradually lose faith in different utopias but then they get bored and start to dream up new ones. I consider that rethinking the Soviet experience is important for humanity to not make mistakes like that.
I like to see what’s happening in photography today. This medium appeared not so long ago and has been in a process of transformation ever since. I think that it’s the most relevant medium for the contemporary world because it can be presented quickly and consumed even faster.
Text and image: Danila Tkachenko
Interview: Liza Premiyak
This interview was originally published by The Calvert Journal.
Others project materials