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People at museum: observing the observers

Anna Kucherova

Photography is one of the methods of world surveillance. It allows to split it into pieces, restricting by picture frame, inspect them carefully and keep the results of observations. Some places suits better for such activities than other as if they specifically created for observations of ones after others – these are museums. Magic spaces where everybody is busy by observing: visitors observe showpieces, the latter seem to look back. Photographer watches everyone and the spectator looking at the images also fits into sequence of observers and those being observed.

Space of a museum is also a place where different epochs and cultures, past and present, moving and motionless, real and fictional, people and images of people are mixed together. In the picture all objects become two dimensional, they are all now just characters of the photograph. People and showpieces start to exist together; they are no longer divided either by timeor by space. Their roles mix and now they are equal: statues seem as much alive as people and vice versa – visitors of the museum fit into a frozen sequence of paintings and sculptures and become undistinguished. Caught in one snapshot they are tied into a common storyline: eyes contact; emotions, gestures and poses are directed towards each other – people and showpieces interact and we look at genre scenes acting out before us: sometimes funny, sometimes touching.

I like to watch these, to catch the moment when not only the story line appears in its strongest expression but when all participants and everything around line up in the best possible way and the cadre obtains equilibrity and completeness. Silhouettes of people and objects, lines, bright and dark stains repeat each other, form rhythm, and are joined together by visual rhymes. During such moments you suddenly realize that the world has turned towards you with its perfect, wonderful side and through seeming chaos harmony and order hidden inside have exuded. These fleeting precious seconds – recollections of these moments make you come back again and again, painfully seek those, hope and catch. This is the goal and the meaning of photography.

Louvre – Hermitage, 2010-2013.

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