Alexander Veryovkin
Born in 1987 in Leningrad, USSR. Сurrently lives in St. Petersburg. In 2009 graduated the
faculty of mathematics and mechanics of St. Petersburg State University, majored in astronomy.
Between 2009 and 2011 studied at the faculty of photojournalism by J.A.Galperin in
St.Petersburg. In 2011 entered the «Fotodepartament», attended courses by Nadya
Sheremetova and Alina Belishkina. Since 2015 became a participant of the «School for young
artists» program in Pro Arte foundation. Took part in the exhibition «Young russian
photography» (2012, 2013), as well as other group exhibitions in St. Petersburg, Moscow,
Norilsk, Kaliningrad, Syktyvkar, Krasnoyarsk, Minsk, Amsterdam. In 2015 was a participant of
AiR Barents art residency in Norway.

Yury Gudkov
Born in 1990, based in St. ­Petersburg, Russia. Student of Fotodepartament.Institute since 2014. Took part in group exhibitions: “Common Imaginary”, Fotodepartament Gallery, Saint­Petersburg, Russia; “Construction. Photography in search of approach”, international Festival of Photography, Uglich, Russia; “Experiences of Brownian Motion” in Moscow at The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, Russia. His book “Keep an Eye on what you see” was shortlisted at Unseen Dummy Award 2015 in Amsterdam.

Photos in publication:
(c) Alexander Veryovkin. The Dark Side of the Landscape
(c) Alexander Veryovkin. Intervention
(c) Yury Gudkov. Keep an Eye on What You See

Exhibitions of these two photographers have opened the 2016 exhibition season in FotoDepartament Gallery. They met through their projects in a physical space of the gallery. Nevertheless, the primary intersection zone of their interests is a space of digital photography. Especially for YET Magazine, we have asked the photographers to think about the similarities, common ideas and research that unite their artistic practices. 

Alexander Veryovkin:
To my opinion, Yury works with a space of anonymity of the found pictures. He treats them either directly (as in the project ...isn't his portrait) or refers to them using an iphone camera. I would say, on the one hand he is interested by interrelation of the photography and the context, and on the other, how repressive the reality could be when it comes to vision formation.

In my practice I also use photography for an endless documenting of everything that is happening around me. This ritual is not done on any purpose, has neither beginning nor end, however, it is certainly connected to the Lacan’s desire discourse, like any human experience. I seems to be mostly reflected in the project Landmarks: it was interesting for me to track the monotonous daily commuting and draw analogy between an eye as an instrument that structures the world, and contemporary gadgets.

Fixing certain subjects reveals an anxiety that there is something unimaginable and impossibility of the verbal presentation.
An eye is bothered by a clash with place that sends you back to the experience of loss again and again, to the contrast between the redundancy of an image and unavailability of verbal expression. It reveals the asymmetry of the look and an absent eye, makes you doubt in the eye itself as a source of a look. 

Yury Gudkov:
Alexander’s method seems to consist in a slight transformation of the objects and phenomena that he works with.

He fits into the selected scheme without influencing its action, but in the end we get a useful signal with an inevitable noise that hardly exceeds the limits but is able to change the whole picture. A noise that is scarcely decodable is of much more interest than the main signal.
In the top of this picture there is an ideal digital signal (rectangular stairs). Below there is a real signal, as an ideally direct signals hardly exist. The real signal contains a so called “rattle”, small noises that exist within the limits of permissible means.

Alexander acts according to the similar principle: he locates himself in the situation where it seemed to be no space to step off the track, whenever he rides a bicycle, trying to follow previous trajectory, looks through his “commuting” archives, observes the life of birds and people, examines a landscape. Veryovkin documents his actions in simple, unpretentious and somehow ironic photos and videos simulating an amateur shooting. However, an appearing simplicity of the content allows the noise to show up. The noise that at first glance seemed to be insignificant, now covers the gap between the displayed, actual and perceived (Cluster E); between the landscape and its representation as a part of a digital model of the world (The Dark Side of the Landscape); automatism of the surveillance system and its self-destruction due to simple cataloguing (Landmarks); between the combination and intervention (Intervention).
Alexander Veryovkin artistic practice is an emergence of the New according to Kierkegaard: it is different because it lacks difference.
The similarity of our methods consists in documenting ourselves in a certain situation, rather than the world around us. Presence of each of us takes place not in the document that represents the space around, but rather in appearing subtle noise that remains after percepted things have passed through the author.