34/24: Igor Lebedev - SPBaroque
Igor Lebedev (1966) - photographer. He has been engaged in photography since 1984. In 1985 he graduated from a technical college with high honours as a photographer. From 1985-87 he served in the Soviet forces as a divisional photographer. Since 1992 he has been working as a teacher in a children’s photographic studio. In 1994 he organised the F. K. photographic studio at the Children’s House of Creative Work in the Petrograd Region. Since 1995 he has been a member of the organising committee for the Ôoňoimage Gallery. He has been a member of the Russian Union of Photographic Artists since 1996. From 2000 to date he has been a member of the organising committee for the Autumn Photo-marathon Festival, and curator of numerous photographic exhibitions. Since 2002 he has led a class in photography at St. Petersburg State University, the Language Faculty, and the Smolny Institute of Free Arts and Sciences. He has been actively involved in exhibitions since 1995. He has created 11 personal exhibitions, and taken part in more than 80 group exhibitions in Russia, Germany, Finland, Great Britain, and the USA.
2002 - WARS. Rural Life Gallery, Saint Petersburg. Russia. 2000 - DREAMS. Open Society Institute, Soros Centre of Modern Art, St. Petersburg, Russia. - HISTORY OF RUSSIAN POETRY IN PICTURES (jointly with A. Vorsopko). Navicula Artis Gallery, St. Petersburg. Russia. - PHOTORECORDS. Deryabkin Museum of Phonographs and Gramophones, St. Petersburg. Russia. 1999 – POINT OF VIEW. Ôîňîimage Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia. 1997 – GAMES WITH PHOTOGRAPHY. International Festival: “Non-Mind Games”. House of Folk Creative Work, St. Petersburg, Russia. - APPROXIMATIONS Baltic House Theatre, I International Festival Rotating Sun, St. Petersburg, Russia. - CONFRONTATION. Mainila, Kamenka (tank range), Leningrad Region, Russia. 1996 - WAR. Gallery 21, St. Petersburg, Russia. - DEATH. Ôîňîimage Gallery, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Main series: 1995 – A Walk / 1996 – Photographic postcards / 1996-2002 – Winter War / 1996-1997 – Minor Tragedies / 1996 – That is all I remember of my childhood / 1997 – Game with photography / 1998 – Golden City / 1998 – Berlin – a Red City / 1998 – Wall of Truth / 1999 – Point of View / 1999-2002 – Everything the same as always / 1999 – Stalingrad –2 / 1999 – One more day / 2000 – Autumn in the Megapolis / 2000 – Album of Lieutenant Opakhov / 2000 – Scent of Women / 2000-2002 – In the Street / 2001 – Red and Black / 2002 – Hand Printing / 2002 – Blockade.
Collections: Russian State Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Ohio, USA, Collection of the Free Culture Foundation, St. Petersburg, Russia, The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, USA, Luke & A Gallery of Modern Art, London.
“Yacob Burkhardt, who was the first to give a definition of the Baroque style, considered that “Baroque architecture speaks in the language of the Renaissance, but this language is degenerating". Since that time fanciful, eccentric, flowery, grotesque, pretentious, splendid, affected and strange have become synonyms for works of the Baroque. In assessing style since that time a great deal has changed, above all else thanks to a book entitled The Renaissance and the Baroque, by Heinrich Woelfflin, in which he persuasively argues the thesis that Baroque is not the result of degeneration of the Renaissance, but is its opposition.
St. Petersburg began its belated architectural education with the Baroque, which 300 years ago was the end point of textbooks on the history of art. In the forests and marshes of Hare Island, obviously there were no traces of Renaissance architecture, and hence there could be neither degeneration nor opposition – it was just an illusion. Opposition in the form of classicism in St. Petersburg appears only after half a century. One hundred years later the term Baroque appeared, and in another 150 years the photographer Igor Lebedev started to photograph the triumphal architecture of the city on the Neva, using a technique provisionally named ‘kicking’. This completely original technique uses the Czech camera for amateurs – the Pioneer with a manual shutter. Over one minute a frame is exposed 20-30 times, and the image begins to ‘shake’, and there occurs what the Italians call miracolo, a miracle. In the heat haze sfumato (a method used by Leonardo da Vinci, and the natural condition of the northern atmosphere) the architecture of ‘triumphant Peter’ comes through as a distant recollection of the resplendent days of triumph. Demythologising baroque architecture by means of ‘meditative daily routine’, the photographer creates his own dynamic and democratic space, in which ‘unity is realised through plurality, and permanence through movement.’ And this is one of the definitions of Baroque style. A fluttering style, a flickering artist.” (Yu. Avvakumov)