"Do I aim my lens outside, toward the world surrounding me, or inside, toward myself? Should I photograph the existing reality or create my own world, believable, yet non-existent?". It's with these pertinent questions about the nature of photography that Misha Gordin introduces us to her work and, looking at it, there are no doubts about which road she took. Images of minimal shapes, harsh contrasts, rigorous compositions and mysterious meanings have the strength of true icons. There are few photographers able to do what she does.
For Misha Gordin, conceptual photography is an elevated way of artistic expression, at the same level as painting, sculpture, poetry or music. The issue lies in the "concept". She explains: "A poor concept, even if executed perfectly, still leads to a poor photograph. Therefore, the most important element in a powerful image is the concept". The idea and its materialisation through photographic language thus becomes the essence of conceptual photograph's process. For that reason, her images have an almost extreme simplicity and minimalism - so that the idea isn't shadowed and its meaning isn't misinterpreted. As a clue, her homepage is entitled bsimple.
Every photograph is always altered, although there is a tendency to believe that all that is captured by the lens of a camera has to exist. And if that is particularly true when it comes to digital photography, easily altered using a couple of Photoshop tools, it isn't less true when it comes to traditional photography, where collages and corrections have always been made. Maybe, for that reason, it won't surprise you to know that all of Misha Gordin's work is done exclusively using conventional processes of chemistry and laboratory.
Why does she do it? Once again, it all comes down to the conceptual aspect. Even though digital technology is an axcellent tool when it comes to artistic production, it lacks an important aspect: the imperfection of human work. And that imperfection, the occasional speck of dust, is what gives beauty and sense to every work of art.
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