Irony as a landscape

27 Jan 2016 – 7 Feb 2016

Cost of entry

200-430 Rub

Lumiere Brothers Gallery

Moscow, Russia


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Irony as a landscape is a joint project of young photographers Oleg Borodin, Anton Zabrodin, and Alexander Lyubin.


Working with the concept of symbolism and irony, as well as postulating the objecthood of photography, its output extends beyond the surface of the prints. The authors put varying degrees of visual intensity to make a broad bright statement.

Through an artist's perspective, landscape functions in new ways. Relying on principles of irony (the contrast between the literal meaning of a statement and its underlying significance, mockery, and profanity) photography easily transforms landscape from a background into a subject and a tool for testing the boundaries of reality.

Alexander Lyubin crudely cuts reality, mixing the signified and the signifier. He peers into the artificial and flattens the natural with a flash of light. Dense leafage depicted with thick layers of green paint printed on a banner overshadows the three-dimensional nature of the tree in the same photographic frame. Moreover, the artist’s irony covers the term of the simulacrum – the notion which questions the materiality of world. The author brings this semantic tension to the limit, to the point of releasing it altogether.

Oleg Borodin’s new series combines two strands, which he has worked with for the last several years: direct documentary photography and collage. Two opposite approaches in terms of the use of effects. Concise detached vistas of suburban areas seem to have a lack of intrigue or mystery. However, Borodin encircles the works in warning tape signaling to the viewer the possibility of being deceived. Red-white tape, a sign ubiquitous in a city landscape, serves to demarcate dangerous areas, which contain errors. Looking more closely one can discern elegiac, candid and ironic fantasy, the artist’s dream about an ideal view from the window. Flood-meadows, birch trees loom through high-rise buildings, garages and transformation vaults.

Anton Zabrodin's installations are built around deserted landscapes, devoid of narratives and symbols. Inside these spaces, the artist places a surrogate of meaning – an illuminated road sign. The bright eye catching symbol of a sign, combined with the absence of meaning, brings irony to his work.  

Oleg Borodin lives and works in Moscow. Graduated from Moscow State University of Printing Arts and Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow, he has participated in international portfolio review in Moscow (2011), group exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Borodin’s selected exhibitions include “ZineStation”, Meglinskaya gallery, Moscow, 2012;II Museum Photobiennale of Contemporary Photography, The Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg, 2012;FotoFest 2012 Biennial, Houston, USA, 2012; “Whydowegoto see exhibitions” MAMM, Moscow, 2013;Baltic Biennale of Photography, Kaliningrad, 2015.He works with photography and collage.

Anton Zabrodin – photographer, artist. Graduatedfrom Kaliningrad State University in 2006 majoring in philosophy. In 2011, he graduated from philosophy department of the Russian State University for the Humanities. In 2012 -2013 completed course “New artistic strategies” atInstitute of Contemporary Art, Moscow.  Participated in exhibitions in Russia and abroad.

Alexander Lyubin works and lives in Moscow and Kaliningrad. Graduatedfrom Kaliningrad State University majoring in philosophy, completed course “New artistic strategies” at Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow. Member of Kaliningrad union of photography artists. Has held solo shows and participated in group exhibitions in Russia, Latvia, USA, residential programmes in Poland, Germany. He works with photography, video, and installation, and works as a curator.

Project is supported by the Foundation of Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantin Sorokin.

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Zueva Katerina


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