Category: Conversations

Interview with Igor Gaidai

Recently G.ART visited renowned ukrainian photographer IGOR GAIDAI in his studio in Kyiv. We talked about Gaidaii’s new projects, his professional credos, and the way he perceives photography as a craft. Here we are happy to present the full unabridged interview with IGOR GAIDAI the photographer.

  • What is personal and autobiographical about your work?

The subjects I show may not be about my life. The personal in my work is my view of the world.

Today, I only shoot series and photographs that interest me. I don’t have any pictures that I formally like. That was in the past when I was studying. At the moment I’m using my experience to show my outlook. That’s the personal side of my work.

  • Let’s talk more specifically about this series.

This series looks a bit decorative. It is a set of artifacts of human activity. The series has a corresponding name Human Labor.

The history of the series started with a photograph that is now behind me.

In front of the house, where I live, an old house was being demolished and a new one was being built. The same situation occurred near my workshop. After that, a lot of metal elements and wooden parts were left behind. The wood was used for firewood to heat my house throughout the winter but the metal parts remained and I had to decide what to do with them.I realized I couldn’t throw them away. Many of the parts were over one hundred years old. Besides, these tools worked for humans, they were human-made, produced by human hands and minds.

That was the trigger to create the series. Its main idea is to show the materials that have influenced human civilization, helped people implement their ideas.

The next composition was made out of plastic. It is called Plastic.

Many pieces are iconic. We cannot imagine our lives without them today.

I’m aware that plastic pollutes the environment. But I don’t deal with this subject in my picture. The main idea is how we use this material. It has a detrimental and destructive effect on our world, but on the other hand, it can also save it. Like a knife, for example, it can be used to cook food and feed people, or it can be a weapon to kill. Plastic gives life when used as a part of an artificial heart.

There is no judgment in my photos. There are contemplations on what is important in human life. That was the basis of my compositions. It bound them together.

This is how I came to a third series called Hardware. The series includes everything from electronics to modern processors.

Then I thought about materials that were necessary and important for humanity in the past. This is how the Wood collection came into the series.

In terms of theory, it was difficult. Other materials are the result of human thought and ideas. While the wood, even converted into some object, retains its natural structure.

The last material I will include in this series is paper. The Paper series should be very interesting. I can not wait to see this series myself.

The significance of paper used to be greater than that of the internet today. It was an explosion. Paper could transmit information. In addition, the volume and speed of transmission increased dramatically. Besides, I’m very interested in people who read.I’m planning to take my first picture the other day. For several months I have been working on the composition itself.

The technology is not simple either. The high resolution of the images is an important element.

    • How do you make a work in this resolution?

    I am building my own large handheld scanner. The composition is the same size as the photo itself. Then I scan it frame by frame. The important element is light. The images should only be viewed vertically. If you rotate them, the three-dimensional effect is lost.

    • What is the most important thing for you in your artwork?

    The most important thing about my concept as a photographer is that I don’t edit the image. It is beyond my ideology.

    The most important thing for me is that the person looking at the shot should understand and feel that the captured object was actually in front of the camera lens.

    I don’t consider photography to be an art form, though it is certainly creative.

    What makes it different is that it deals with reality. For me, as a photographer, it is very interesting. But this craft is not easy and requires a lot of effort.The special thing about photography is that the image is authentic. If you change something in an image, it is no longer a photograph. I take photography as a philosophy. It helps me understand life.

    • Has the pandemic influenced your work?

    Yes, in terms of my outlook. I make works that relate to what I think about the world, what I reflect on.

    For example, in the “Grain” series, I was interested in the following idea: there is an enormous amount of information that has been passed down for thousands of years just in a tiny grain.

    A living being with its own inner cosmos. It’s fantastic stuff!

    They, by the way, beat the atheism out of me, which was imposed on me by the system as I was a child.

    Now looking at the world, I understand that it operates according to certain laws or a program with an algorithm; and that program has an author – supermind, who creates and experiments. I am interested in that, so all my series are related to it.

    • Tell us about your creative plans for the future, please!
      • Covid has made me think about communication and presenting my work also through the medium of electronic media.

      I also plan to do an exhibition of portraits of nude women. It has to do with the grain and femininity. It’s impossible to talk about this series. One has to see a photo with one’s own eyes.

      Thank you for the conversation!

      The interview was conducted by Anastasia Arakelyan, creative director of the G.ART art platform.


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