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Groundmagazine # 4

GROUND MAGAZINE # 4 Grounded


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4

Prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment are held in maximum security prisons separately from other criminals. VK-240/2 “White Swan� in Solikamsk, russia. Photography by Zerezha Komanov


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4

INTERVIEW

With Photographer Serezha Komanov How did you get the idea to make a project about white swan prison? It came from a friend of mine, who called me and said, Serezha, here my guys are going to make a documentary film in White Swan, do you want to join them? And I said yes. I never been to such places, never met such people, it was for me like another side of the moon. So it was hard to prepare for it, it is the most strict prison in Russia - the legend, so I was really nervous. The idea was to make the portrait series of people, who are sentenced to a full-life punishment. It was hard to do it technically there, very hard. I had a few seconds to make each portrait. Now I’m working with the material, trying to transform it into an exhibition, but I don’t want to make it into a photo exhibition, i’m trying to represent the atmosphere, the thrill that comes to you when you are sitting close to those men. Cause what I found out, that when the tv-group was interviewing them , they where asking rather standard questions, like ‘what do you think about you murder’, ‘do you confess’ and so on, the questions were really simple, but what was shocking for me, that the answers to this questions are very very hard, and complex. I’m trying to find a way to translate to the people, what I felt there being close to these murders and criminals. Hope I will manage everything.

Why did you become a photographer? Like many, even every important thing in our live, it happened by accident. The visual aspect of art was always interesting to me, so I studied at the Russian cinema institute, at the producers department. But my girlfriend (now ex) brought me an old mechanical camera. It was a really special present. So since that time everything started. And now I finished the producers department, and I am studying as director of photography at the workshop of Mr. Yusov (the camera man of A. Tarkovsky).

Where do you find your inspiration? I can say that mainly my inspiration comes from people, visiting new places and watching films or picking something from what other people do. People are the most interesting for me. They don’t stop to inspire me, I can always find something new, and there are so many that we don’t even know . Now I’m inspired by peoples life stories, their biography. We are taught History in school, but the history of any man, or of a family can be even more interesting. Travelling is also very inspiring, cause we are living in this world, with all those tv’s, computers, internet, but all that stuff can’t replace real life experiences. This is what I like to get from life. And the technical aspects of my works, I pick from modern art, design and cinema, well, I try to.


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Moscow. I have the best family and the best friends I can ever imagine. My family is very close, I can say that it is ideal. We love each other. The world around me is rather cruel, but I’m a very positive man. Moscow is not the best city in the world, but I am good friends with it. I know a lot of secrets of this city, this city knows mine. They are not on the surface, they are kept deep inside. I grew up in an interesting time. The 90’s was a time of a lot of criminals in the streets, it was a time of big hopes, but still I had a happy childhood.

Can you share a childhood memory It is not the exact memory it is a big story. My family is from the cinema business, we are from Moscow. But we spent every summer (with my brothers) in the country house, at my grandpa’s. The village is called Klushino, where Yury Gagarin was born. We have a big wooden family house there. So living in the city, I was still very close to the earth. I was working with my grandpa, in the garden, working with animals, pigs, chicken, rabbits,

each summer for three months. I think that this time inspired me a lot. I was exploring life there more deeply, than I would do it in the city. In the village I got the understanding of real values. It was great to go on a hike - fishing, or to the forest, I had a football field there, made by our own children’s hands, we had a house on a tree also made by ourselves. I had a very happy childhood.

Any future projects or plans you are looking forward to, or we should know about? The last 3-4 months, I was rather busy, so had only commercial projects. But I’m working on an exhibition, I told you about. Working on the “Dreams” series still. And planning to make a documentary film on it, more like popular science style. And in January I will shoot my first short as a cameraman on a 35-mm film camera. And if everything will be fine, I will go the the arctic in March on an icebreaker!


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4

Plastic figures of prisoners in the room for strategy reaction.


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4

EDITORIAL

Groundmagazine issue # 4 Published by Mieke Woestenburg Amsterdam The Netherlands contact@groundmagazine.org Contributors Serheza Komanov serezhakomarov.com Special thanks to Vahtang Mikeladze the administration of White Swan

Sem Assink Susanne Keilhack

For more info check groundmagazine.org


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


Groundmagazine # 4


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