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portfolio insight 

In focus | Valentin Fedorov

Artist Statement

My images, regardless of the medium, take on a flat and abstract character. My work is dynamic and even slightly chaotic, I achieve this effect by using slower shutter speeds, and diagonal lines in the composition, outside of photography, it manifests itself in whiplash and quick movements with my hands or brush.I am interested in moving away from the figurative and documentary nature provided by photography through many techniques such as high contrast, where the image loses detail and turns into white spots on a black background.
In this way, I turn to graphic methods, which is why I am close to the techniques of creating prints using analog methods. At the moment, my skills include cyanotype, linocut, chlorophyll printmaking, and another supposedly authorial technique in the project ‚Muted Echo‘, where the image is almost broken up into fragments, which complements the main idea of the project – the process of forgetting.

Apart from making prints, I also like things that are handmade, so-called Art&Craft, because it implies non-idealities and roughness in the work and that each piece will be unique. So I have started experimenting with creating objects in clay, although this is still in the research phase and has not yet developed into conceptual works.

Short Bio:

Valentin is an emerging artist, born in Moscow in 1998. His childhood was spent in different countries, including Turkey and Kyrgyzstan, which gives his artistic practice a cultural diversity.
His approach to art is conceptual and interdisciplinary, speaking to the viewer from a personal perspective. After moving back to Kyrgyzstan in 2022, Valentin began working on ‚House 41‘, a landmark project in his artistic career. This project helped him to reflect on the experience of relocation and a new identity, existing as an outsider in a world where the inhabitants experienced the oppression of the Soviet Union, in the remnants of which he grew up.

Valentin has a photographic background and his work reflects his personal experiences and explores philosophical themes such as memory, temporality and death. For example, his project ‚The Fragility of Blossoms‘ embodies the idea of memento mori by presenting flowers in the form of diptychs, one representing life and the other death. The images are printed on a material that resembles X-rays, contrasting the normal image of a flower with one that has been destroyed: burned, cut, frozen, etc.
Currently lives and works in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Project „Birches“
I explore the notion of inheritance by the camera passed down to me by my mother. It’s a Soviet „Zenit,“ possessed a defect that resulted in distorted images, challenging conventional perspectives. Through a collage of combined film.
At first glance, the collage appears as a typical depiction of birch trees, a stereotypical symbol of Russia — my motherland.

From the project „Muted Echo“
At that moment, I was in emotional turmoil: fear of an unknown future, pain of loss, shame at my own helplessness in a destructive relationship.
Attempts to end this relationship stretched for six months, but eventually, I found myself abandoned. My feelings fluctuated between sadness, anger, and joy at the thought that he might be happy without me. And also shame, for what, I can’t remember anymore.
This period of my life is almost erased from my memory. I still have the photographic films from that time – I stopped shooting with analog cameras. I have transferred these images into a graphic in which I recreate the process of the decay of memories. A process in which the image breaks down into fragments, like an old painting being crumbled by the grains of time.
This visual metamorphosis serves as my way of recording and tracing the way in which memories fade away, leaving only traces of their former essence. So far, I haven’t fully lived through the experience, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been in a long-term relationship, but I’ve learned to take care of myself.

From the project „Muted Echo“

From the project „Muted Echo“

From the project „House 41“
In the intriguing canvas of life, each thread creates its own unique story. My journey took an unexpected turn when I was uprooted from my homeland by the Russian invasion to Ukraine. Finding myself in a country whose families suffered under the oppression of the Soviet Union, I now stand as a stranger in a foreign land.
The echoes of history resonate within me, shaping my perspective on life and the choices that brought me to this point. The decision to leave Russia, a stance against governmental policies, has not only altered my physical location but has thrust me into a whirlwind of emotions and challenges.
As I navigate this unfamiliar terrain, I have sought refuge in a shared living space, dwelling with nine others. Our bonds are forged in trust, mutual support, and a collective belief that together we are resilient. Living amidst this diverse group, I’ve come to appreciate the special intimacy that communal living fosters. In our shared moments, even in silence, we bear witness to each other’s vulnerabilities, glimpses of humanity laid bare.
This shared existence serves as a constant reminder of the fragility of life and the transient nature of our existence. Amidst the uncertainty, I find solace in the shared experiences that enrich our collective narrative . In the face of disaster, I have come to realise that the impermanence of life allows us to embrace each moment with deep understanding. It is through these shared struggles and triumphs that we find meaning and connection in the canvas of our existence.

From the project „House 41“

From the project „House 41“

From the project „House 41“

© Valentin Fedorov