Opening May 9th, 7 pm
Minsk, Nezalezhnasсi ave. 37A
The Ў Gallery for Contemporary Art is proud to present “Tulips,” by American-Lithuanian photographer Andrew Miksys. After living in Lithuania for 15 years, Andrew first visited Belarus in 2009 to photograph during the official Victory Day celebrations. Minsk was filled with decorations – tractors, military equipment, and factory workers paraded through the streets and Andrew felt as though he had travelled back in time to the iconography of the Soviet Union. Red tulips, a symbol of spring and rejuvenation in the USSR, were everywhere and their color and symbolism quickly became a theme for his project. After this first trip to Minsk, the photographer returned again and again to Belarus, photographing other state holidays from October Revolution Day to Fatherland’s Defenders Day. But has historian Laimonas Briedis has correctly noted, Miksys planned his journeys with an eye of a trickster, “following the ideological formulas of mass celebrations of Soviet history in expectation of finding memories of the future. In the search for the space in between, he builds his itinerary as a conceptual sleight of hand, following the ideological formulas in expectation of finding the human landscape. His photographs are not so much a record of Belarus in bloom – an archive of official jubilation – as a diorama of the solitude of the celebration.”
For this first comprehensive exhibition in Belarus, the artist will present an installation of photographs and videos created during the five years he travelled to the country. An integral but independent part of the project is the artist’s book of the same name “Tulips” that reflects the process of immersion in a new context, attempts to understand it and visualize artist’s methodology of work. In 2016, “Tulips” was chosen by Simon Baker, curator for photography at TATE Modern in London, as one of the ten best photo books of the year.
Andrew Miksys was born and raised in the USA. His father and grandparents immigrated to the USA from Lithuania after WWII and his mother is American with Ukrainian and Italian root. His photography has been shown internationally including exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre, Kaunas Gallery, and De Apple Contemporary Arts Centre. He has been the recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright, and the Aaron Siskind Foundation. Andrew currently divides his time between Seattle and Vilnius. In Vilnius he runs his own imprint – ARÖK Books.
SELF-PUBLISHING PHOTOBOOK WORKSHOP WITH ANDREW MIKSYS: Why make a photobook?
May 10th, 7 pm
The photo world has changed dramatically in recent years with the explosion of self-published books and small presses. Described by some as the “golden age” of photo books this shift is fuelled by a DIY ethic that has produced a wide diversity of books, zines, and other printed materials. More and more, photographers are circumventing a very top-heavy publishing, museum and gallery system and seeking alternative ways to distribute their work and communicate with audiences in a more direct way. The photobook has moved toward the center of contemporary photography, often surpassing exhibitions and the production of fine art prints. As a result, it’s become increasingly important for photographers to be skilled at editing, sequencing, designing and even fundraising to self-publish their books. Having everything in your own hands can be liberating, but also presents new challenges and a need to develop expertise in a wide variety of areas.
Maybe you have a photography or art book project you’d like to publish as a book? Get started here in this intensive introductory workshop in photobook publishing. The main focus will be improving participants’ knowledge of the contemporary photobook production and the basics of editing, printing, funding, designing, marketing, and choosing materials their own photobooks. Andrew Miksys will lead this workshop with examples from his own photobooks and those of other contemporary photographers.
More information: http://en.ygallery.by/