Day: March 3rd, 2018
Schedule: 09.00 to 17.00
Inscriptions: 20 euros
Tel.: +357 22 66 20 53
Igor Mukhin is a Russian photographer and our teacher for the Transeurope Workshop in Riga “Long-term author” which will take place next March 3rd at Kaunas Gallery. Mukhin lives and works in Moscow. He teaches at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. In 1986-1987 he attended classes at the A. Lapin Studio in the MSU, in 1987 he joined the Immediate Photography group and in 1989 he started his career as a freelance. During the Perestroika and glasnost period he did an independent photo project dedicated to the soviet young and rock musicians. In the mid-1990s, Mukhin worked on documentary projects about Moscow and his country, Russia. Author of various photography books, including editions of a digital limited samizdat, Mukhin’s work is part of international museum collections.
You have a long career and you have documented different times and situations. How important you think the photography is for documenting one part of history?
It is quite interesting for me as an author how I started creating my own system of coordinates, reacting on concrete private matters. Years later, I was suddenly and unexpectedly involved in the political life of the country and the city, during an era of changes. That is then when private photographs suddenly became socially significant and received assessment not only of experts, but also the audience.
So I guess you spend a lot of time documenting and researching the topic that you want to photograph. Are you an artist that has a lot of pictures or you shoot not too many before you edit them?
Different projects demand different efforts, the majority are a result of a fast reaction to what was seen while travelling. But also the analysis could happen on a clean sheet of paper whit a pencil. When using film, it is necessary to devote much time processing a picture. Because of the materials it involves, both the choice of story lines and their editing process under the idea of an exhibition or a book, needs a long time.
Besides photography, is there any discipline that you use and satisfies you to express what you want to say?
The paper model of the book, which was possible to transport, own illegally, has captivated me in the USSR. Today with the advent of the digital, it is possible to plunge a limited book into this tightening experiment.
What kind of differences do you see between Eastern and Western European photography?
Recently on Facebook someone has given a research in discussion: most artists in Western Europe somehow keep within 1.000€ the necessary living wage. Perhaps for Eastern Europe this sum can be divided in 2 or 3. Possibly, this is one of the main differences, the economy. And the concept “photo” nowadays is a quite vague term, under the same concept there are often various actions and motivations.
What could be your suggestion to one person that is stuck in one topic or in one creative process?
The concept of a “pit of the artist” is possible, but I think it is a chain of pleasant accidents. Your question most likely is connected with work on the Internet. My generation remembers two TV schedules and two radio stations, the anchormen broadcasting to the USSR, and also three radio stations from Europe and the USA, but they were suppressed alas.
How hard is for one artist to find an opportunity or a place that wants to show his/ her work? Have the tools of managing your own work in the context changed since you’ve began your career?
The Republic of Lithuania at the time of the USSR, was such island of a photography of freedom, with annual photography seminars in Nida in the 70s of the last century. There was only a photo library in the USSR in Vilnius in the 80s, which released annual anthologies, featuring the masters of photography who shipped in long-term research projects. It will be easier for me to share the projects with people interested in documentary photography. And it is much likely for people to open a photobook nowadays.