Highly contrasting photography (and, hitherto, shading photography) consistently accentuates the isolating line denoting the crossing point among time(s) and space(s), the convergence and interpenetration of today and yesterday, today and tomorrow – of my life and somebody else’s. It focuses to the occasion experienced by an individual (somebody we know or don’t have any acquaintance with, myself, just somebody, nature, or society overall) exactly when my consideration is aimed at the rectangular casing recording what has just been and gone and which is yet present in my life just insofar as I am taking a gander at (recollecting that) it.
The individuals who turn our life, the truth of our experience, into photographic pictures measure it as a correspondent does, provide it tasteful request as does a movie chief, and ‘set up’ casings to ‘please the eye’ – similarly as the historian who goes about as caretaker of the past. But then now and again subjection to the past (not to history, for example not to past time as occasions) ends up being too restricting a job for the picture taker and he turns into an Artist. An Artist who subordinates to himself and his will time, space, and the truth of reality, coordinating the outward appearances of the principle entertainers in his specialty – for example time (considered as a progression of passing minutes) and occasions. In his grasp the camera, negatives/positives, displays, and different apparatuses of exchange become instruments in the accomplishment of more significant standards. This is the way it was that eventually in his photographic vocation Andrey Chezhin became not an ace of creative photography or some specific type of photography, however a craftsman elevated by the hued wings of the style of our age – that style which the pundits love to record, postmodernism.
Andrey Chezhin’s resurrection happened in the not all that inaccessible past, against the foundation of noteworthy occasions that had broken the awareness of ages sentenced to observe the change obviously gone through by the monster phantom boat USSR-Russia as it abandoned communism to free enterprise and from absolute loss of motion of its chief structures to ineptitude.
It was only characteristic that the awareness of the picture taker/craftsman to-be ought to vigorously lose slowness and sneak out of its old skin. Basic account of social reality joined by snaps of the camera shade offered approach to enthusiasm for organized photography and trials with displays (once in a while upwards of at least three). Besides, Chezhin required a reasonable object of examination – complete with hands, legs, and heads and so on.; and this, for absence of different competitors arranged to give up themselves to the necessary degree, ended up being simply the craftsman, ever submissive to and trustful of his own bearing. It was as of now, toward the finish of the 1980s, that Chezhin’s first composite works – Black Square (1988) and Red Square (1990) – showed up. These, obviously, alluded to Kazimir Malevich, an ongoing display of whose works at the RussianMuseum had triumphantly flagged another time throughout the entire existence of workmanship and, all the more explicitly, the lifting of restrictions on enthusiasm for different stages in the improvement of twentieth century craftsmanship.
Dark Square and Red Square are, as effectively noted, composite works, each being comprised of four sections. They were brought about by Chezhin not as a photographic arrangement or a casing by outline succession, as in film, yet as basic works where each part is close to a block supporting the general balance of the whole structure. The fundamental character here is man. In the main case, man is portrayed with a dark square on his brow/mind; in the second, he is indicated removing the chains that quandary him.
The initial segment of Red Square shows an individual standing upstanding with arms held out evenly and legs put wide separated. His figure is fixed in (drawn round) at its limits – which structure the end purposes of a mathematical shape – by a line/rope which brings to mind Leonardo’s journey for the ‘brilliant area’ in the extents of the human body. The red square contains all the space whose shapes are checked and characterized by the rope-line; and the man is himself encased in this space. At that point, in the following two pieces of this work, he figures out how to liberate himself from the rope as his head, arms, and legs are freed thus, while, simultaneously, the territory of control practiced by the red square on the outside of the photo develops dynamically smaller. At long last, in the last piece of this work, the rope/measure is seen lying inside he craftsman’s workshop on a piece of paper, inside the red square. The watcher turns into an observer of how a social image – the ‘red square’, Malevich, Suprematism, and so on – is changed into a sociocultural one: the man pushes off the rope – which at first denotes the shapes of a star (head, arms, legs) – and frees himself from the red, for example loses philosophy (the rope/shackles/red – an indication of risk, as we recollect). The red is survived; man is free.
It was right now, for example toward the finish of the 1980s – to be more careful, in 1988 – that Chezhin left on a progression of self-representations which is incomplete right up ’til today. The craftsman photos himself – with hair, without hair, with his significant other, with a ruler; photos his hands (in Erotica); photos himself, himself, and himself. Simultaneously he began working on ‘types’ for his arrangement Portraits (1990) and was proceeding to record social reality (material that would be utilized in Pairs, an arrangement executed in 1987-1990-1997).
Chezhin’s silly, critical, and useless arranged photos of anonymous kinds/characters emit an incredible, terrible semiphysiological sense/memory of a past period of male and female functionaries and laborers stepped with the unmistakable characteristics of the restricted, if not diminished awareness of social invalidism. Here Chezhin’s photography determinedly maintains a strategic distance from any endeavor to pass on the mental state or disposition of the subject; this is photography that remains outside pyschoanalysis or psychologism, outside any declaration of the ‘psychical’. These are still-lifes where things (objects) are credited with neither soul nor individual time, nor individual experience or living space or ‘physiognomy’. Distinction has been resolved, leaving only the general trademark frown of types in communist society. This is the thing that they figured out how to accomplish in the 70 years of Soviet principle. What’s more, Chezhin the craftsman here simply mirrors the achievement appreciated by the now ousted belief system in molding the Soviet character.