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Interview with photographer Vladimir Selenkov

I r i n a  R u s i n o v i c h

Interview with photographer Vladimir Selenkov

Vladimir, you studied medicine, even had been practicing this profession for some time, until you moved to St. Petersburg and met  Mr. Kaplan —  that probably was the turning point in your life. Can you think of a moment  when you started questioning your career ?

Yes, I can. However, photography I am currently doing does not bring enough money so that I could quit my main job, so everything remains  the same, except for my attitude to work and to the world.

Your photographic style is very distinct, minimalistic, usually black and white. How would you describe the main message of your art?

My works neither have any messages to the viewer, nor any names. It’s a big internal work — revealing one’s own attitude to different things, being at a certain level of spiritual development which results in a kind of an image. In a nutshell, of course.

Please tell us about your process of making artworks.

In brief, it’s a sacrament. Each time it goes the same way but still it’s different: you start shooting one thing ending up doing something else. It’s important, however, not to limit yourself, going beyond the boundaries. Shooting can last up to three hours, with just a couple of pictures taken within this period. I remember working without making a single shot — you need to stop thinking: “This will do” and go to the end staying true to yourself.

There are not many portraits among your works. Is therea specific reason for it?

I would like to work with people. However, for shooting objects you just need a kitchen and a small table, while working with a person requires much space and the person herself. It’s not a commercial shooting, everything is quite expensive ranging from materials to renting a place, so it’s mainly for economic reasons.

What visual references do you use in your art?

If you mean artistic influence, many things have affected me, to one degree or another. Everything has already been  created, my task is only to do what I like without looking back.

You have chosen to work in the medium of film photography. Why not digital?

Everyone  is free to choose  the medium that allows one to realize his/her vision best — in my case, it’s an average format of the film. It gives me the scale, proportions and design that meet my demands. There are also other reasons such as a limited number of frames (it disciplines), a large viewfinder, and most importantl, a sacrament: you can’t see the result immediately until you develop the film.

And final question, do social networks usually have a positive impact on your art?

Yes, they do. On social media I can show people my works and receive feedback. It is interesting to know what others think of my art and find like-minded people.

Instagram: @vladimir_selenkov