Olga Chernysheva

Girls in the Park, 2008
60x90 cm



The caught-on-camera Girls in the Park show the recognizable characteristics of Olga Chernysheva’s signature artistic perspective. A mix of outsight and detachment (a certain wonder at the world, as if seeing it for the first time, according to Viktor Shklovsky), ironic and attentive attitude to the protagonists of her works lets Chernysheva document permanent conditions of Russian society by capturing bare moments of life without any evident actions or activities.
In the composition of five young girls standing close to each other, wearing dress uniforms, shot during the celebration of City day in one of Moscow parks, their estrangement comes through. The figures are separate, each looking neither at the viewer nor at each other – one girl’s eyes are raised to the sky, another girl’s eyes are closed. Chernysheva has managed to capture the mood of uncertainty and anticipation. The combination of heavy make-up on the faces and strict dress uniforms with all proper insignia emphasises the controversial character of the images. The artist is not trying to prompt the viewer to agree with or accept some pre-defined judgement about reality. The photograph, as an imprint of reality, is a mere statement of the things spotted, in all their ambiguousness.