Now and again, I come across work that makes me stop and stare. And stare again. And get jealous. Brilliant work from Danila Tkachenko who has won first prize at the 2014 Lens Culture Exposure Awards with his series of images of decaying post-soviet weaponry called “Restricted Areas”. Maybe it’s the adman in me, but I love the conceptual simplicity of the photographs combined with an elegant execution. No trickery. Just metal, concrete and dead ideologies all drenched in an ethereal daylight bouncing off the snow. Almost like infinity studio work. Absolutely love the series. Congratulations to Danila. Damn. Where’s my camera? Great work inspires people.
The Ukrainian tragedy hasn’t gone away you know. It continues today unabated and underreported. The western mainstream media has moved on to a shiny new story elsewhere in the world. We have very short attention spans. Our media encourages this fast turnaround consumption of tragic events. In consequence, world events, and their implications, have slowly lost their ability to mean anything to us anymore – sustained streaming of imagery without sense or significance. Fast food tragedy is on offer 24/7 and indigestion is often the result without any of us really knowing why. Photographers, by contrast, are brilliant at freezing moments in time that allow the viewer to view or revisit events and absorb contexts and outcomes that would otherwise go unnoticed or misunderstood. This presentation by Taylor-Lind is a a master class from, not only a talented photographer, but also from a human being who cares about other human beings and what happens to them. As should we all. Photography and photographers can and does make a massive difference in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In other words – photography still matters. Now more than ever.