Red tulips or photography as provocation 0

Astijus Krauleidis-Vermontas, 2016-04-19

In brief: At the Kaunas Photography Gallery the photographer Andrew Mikšys introduces us to Belarus and presents it as he sees it through the camera lens. In the latest series Tulips the author focuses on a person and his living environment. And the image of tulips, historically familiar to us, through color leaves a mark not only in photographs but also in people's minds.

The photographer A. Miškys is a Lithuanian American who focuses on social photography and presents it to the public in his exhibition. The artist reflects on the emotions and psychology of people who are in the margins of society; such notions as "honesty", "loneliness" and "joy" are the basis of his work.

In his latest series Tulips (the same name was given to the exhibition) the photographer A. Mikšys presents Belarus with all its little corners that have not been seen by many. The author provokes the viewer, because he does not focus on things that we are well familiar with (the remaining signs of communism, Victory Day, October Revolution Day and May Day celebrations), but on the contrary - on the things we know little about (the desire to preserve the past, to restore it in the present).

A. Mikšys chooses different types of people, who agree to appear in front of his camera (military officer, a girl in a trolleybus, topless girl in her home environment, scout and etc.). The author chooses the heroes of his photographs randomly - any person met in the street can become that hero; even the person at the exhibition interests the artist. It is essential that photographs are not staged - people in them sincerely show how they are (thoughtful and serious) and what they care about (city and family celebrations).

The exhibition Tulips creates a coherent narrative, which is dominated by ambiguous mood, i.e. images range from the subtle erotic to politics-oriented, which in Belarus is the opposite of democracy. The person captured in photographs feels that he/she is being affected by politics and society, but the photographer A. Mikšys frees each hero and allows him/her to feel safe in front of the camera.

The ephotographer shows a hyperbolized and pompous Belorussian reality of bright colors and a person who feels lonely in this reality. As lonely as a red-green stone on the lawn captured in one of the photographs.

Andrew Mikšys' exhibition Tulips will be open at the Kaunas Photography gallery until the 24th of April.

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