Photo reportage from Martin Buschmann's exhibition 'Doc. Photo 2020' at the Draakon Gallery

January 6, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Martin Buschmann’s personal exhibition Doc. Photo 2020 will be open in Draakon gallery from Tuesday, December 14, 2021. Exhibition will be open until January 8, 2022.

Since the objective of documentary photography is to record events on the spot then in case of virtual events and environments we are bound to think about how to be present and how to reflect the events of virtual environment through photography? What are the common characteristics of the real and the virtual world? What are the possibilities and restrictions; how does contemporary photography theory function and survive in virtual environment?

The artist presents photographs of concerts that have taken place in various virtual (game) environments. Buschmann manipulates with contemporary concert photography in virtual environments while observing the ways of forwarding the dynamics of the visual (including mood, flow of events, characteristics).

Martin Buschmann directs his “camera” to concert environments and related events while reflecting the virtual action in the light of international events and political situation. The Target supermarket in flames, in the event of virtual club Elsewither (that is the virtual copy of Club Elsewhere located in Brooklyn, NYC), was synchronized with the rioting in New York in June 2020, the same can be said about the performance by Pussy Riot at Block by Blockwest Festival. Both events took place in Minecraft environment that was the fastest, most convenient and perhaps the cheapest solution for creating a virtual concert in conditions of Covid-19 restrictions.

All this is counterbalanced by images about the so-called commercial environments: a photograph about the audience at the concert by Lil Nas X held in Roblox environment and the Lost Horizon festival in Sansar. Whereas in other environments, the avatars representing men remain rather similar to human beings then in Sansar environment also characters with a carrot appearance are allowed to the dance floor.

Also, the question of personal data and personal protection becomes increasingly important – how can a person be characterized when existing in a virtual environment? In real (optics-based) photography, we know and distinguish persons according to their facial features and posture, but how one should do it in photography of virtual world where avatars have been created by the game developer?

Martin Buschmann (b. 1980) is an artist and photographer living in Tallinn. He has obtained MA degree in contemporary art (2021) and BA degree in photography (2019) at the Estonian Academy of Arts. He mainly uses photography and installation in his artistic practice while focusing con the critical analysis of gender representation, game theories and simulacra. Buschmann has worked as the photographer of ERKI Fashion Show for more than ten years. For several years, he has reviewed art exhibitions in local culture publications (Sirp, Positiiv).

Artwork of the current exhibition has been completed with the support of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

The artist forwards his gratitude to: Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo, Kristel Schwede, Veigo Kuzmenko, Tiiu Buschmann, photography department of the Estonian Academy of Arts, photography magazine “Positiiv”, Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Also, the environments of Roblox, Minecraft and Sansar and everyone who have been involved in the concerts taken place in these environments.

Exhibitions in Draakon gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

Exhibition by Martin Buschmann
Title: Doc. Photo 2020
Open: 14.12.2021-08.01.2022
Draakon Gallery, Pikk 18, Tallinn.
Mon-Fri 11.00-18.00, Sat 11.00-17.00
Photos by Anna Mari Liivrand