Talent of the Year 2020 - NOMINEE: Maria Kokunova
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In our relation to things, in so far as this relation is constituted by the way of vision, and ordered in the figures of representation, something slips, passes...
The hero of my project is a Collector - a single white European man, comes from a working-class family, runs a small business, a middle-class consumer. In the personality of the fictional character there are enclosed my personal experience of oniomania* and the processes that stand behind the logic of consumption mechanism. The processes that actually aim at relieving anxiety, overcoming the fear that time is irreversible, and death is inevitable by means of acquiring something, coming into ownership**.
The Collector realizes that his character and subjectivity are related to material culture and determined by geographical and historical factors. Thus, he inevitably finds himself built into capitalist system. However, this knowledge does not help him to stop being dependent on the subjects, institutions, and structures of the society - object to the object, OBJECTHOOD***.
Commodity abundance and design tricks direct the emotions he gets when touching something into a marketing funnel before he manages to "catch" them. With every new purchase the desire immediately loses its connection with a particular item, is being disposed, slides off the surface of the definition and is transferred to another similar although inaccessible object. According to psychoanalysis theory it is not the real object that values but a symbolic, temporary lost object.
After deep self - reflection the Collector realizes that there is no object of desire
- the giant emptiness inside him cannot be filled; it is melancholy that drives him. He admits personal responsibility for every new purchase and feels guilt-ridden. Inner conflict is getting worse and at the same time he has an opposite feeling od something creepy, obsessive, repetitive: as if some force from the outside feeds the flame of desire to own something and makes him buy things again and again.
My project shows the Collector, his everyday routine. He is not surrounded by auratic objects but rather by carefully picked mass market things, which a beaming with the promise to satisfy our needs and meet our desires.
Through the Bible motives on the engravings of Gustave Dora I am inserting the notion of Noah's ark. Like Noah builds a new world escaping from the flood - creates a new context - so the Collector in an attempt to hide from the chaos of numerously multiplied forms and the "wave of consumption" constructs and arranges his own isolated world filling it with things that may be not unique, but can deter him for a while.
*Oniomania (from Greek ὤνιος ṓnios "for sale" and μανία manía "insanity") - an irresistible–uncontrollable urge, desire to buy things far beyond what is necessary and often which one cannot afford. Associated with manic states. Glossary of Psychiatry, EdwART 2009.
**Jean Baudrillard. The System of Objects.
***V. Flusser. The Shape of Things (A letter to Dan Stacy). Philosophy of Design, 2016, p. 9.
(b.1983, Armavir, Russia), an artist, works with photography, collage, appropriation images and document performance art, participant of the Attention Hub! Based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
The problem of personality and the mechanism of subject constitution are the main themes laying in the sphere of her interests. In her works she focuses on the process of self-reflection and searches for visual metaphors to be used for examining her life in order to translate the emotional and psychological state into some visual form. Instead of forcing herself into a formal framework, she uses various visual modes and employs a greater variety of photographic techniques and styles to create a complete visual image.
2020 - Sony World Photography Awards Professional competition's Discovery category - winner;
2020 - Riga Photomonth 2020 - shortlist;
2020 - Shortlist for 'Sacred. The Expirience of beyond’ by Urbanautica;
2019 - New Talents, PEP, Berline, Germany;
2019 - Bird in Flight Prize '19 shortlist for the special nomination Editor`s choice;
2018 - Selected author of “ULTRA // UNPRECEDENTED CHRONICLES”, Sedici, Prato, Italy;
2017 - Nominee of PhotogrVphy Grant in Conceptual category.
Group Shows (selected):
2020 - SWPA2020 online winners-gallery;
2019 - NEW TALENTS, Tete, Berlin, Germany;
2019 - PRESENCEFESTIVAL, Sevcableport, Saint-Petersburg;
2019 - PHOTOBOOKZINEPRINTPRESSFEST, Bertholdt Centre, Saint-Petersburg;
2018 - Volumes Edition 2018 at Kunsthalle Zürich;
2018 - “ULTRA // UNPRECEDENTED CHRONICLES”, Sedici, Prato, Italy;
27/06/20 - Fisheye Magazine;
9/06/2020 - SONY.RU;
05/2020 CTypeMag vol.2;
01/2020 Yogurt Magazine;
11/2019 PEP, Berlin;
07/2019 Bird in Flight;
07/2019 L'Oeil de la Photographie;
05/2019 Humble Arts Foundation;
05/2019 FK Magazine;
03/2019 Float Photo Magazine;
10/17-11/17 F-STOP MAGAZINE/Issue#88;
12/2017 Der Greif;
11/2017 Bird In Flight;
11/2017 Don’t Take Pictures;
11/2017 Dodho Magazine;
10/2017 The Lucky Jotter;
10/17-11/17 F-STOP MAGAZINE/Issue#85;
25/06/2017 Don’t Take Pictures;
21/06/2017 PRIVATE photography & writing;
2020 - The Rodchenko Art School, Moscow, Russia;
2019 - A personal course Intellect or Susceptibility by Ekaterina Vasilyeva, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
2019 - Educational program with Nadezhda Sheremetova Photography and new niches, Foundation FotoDepartament, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2018-2019 - A personal course The Diary of the Other by Ekaterina Vasilyeva;
2017 - 2018 - Educational program with Nadezhda Sheremetova "Overcoming photography", Foundation FotoDepartament, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2017 - 2018 - A personal course The Autobiography of the City by Ekaterina Vasilyeva, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2017 - A personal course The Feeling of Home by Ekaterina Vasilyeva, Photo School St. Petersburg photographer, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2017 - Workshops, Foundation FotoDepartament, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2016 - A course of lectures by Ekaterina Vasilyeva Photography as art. Genres of photography from the point of view of the 21st century, the "Art of PhotoGallery", Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2015 – 2016 - "Fotokunst" – Nadja Kuznetsova`s photo school, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2014 - 2016 - A personal course of Dmitry Konradt, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2013 - 2015 - Educational Foundation St Petersburg photographic workshops, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
2005 - Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University, Pyatigorsk, Russia.