by Joerg Albrecht
on the occasion of Igor Savchenko’s exhibition A Picture Behind Him at Photogallery in the City Hall of Graz, Austria, 16.Feb – 11.Mar.2011
If I imagine myself in one of his photos, one of those mysteries of Igor Savchenko, I instantly sweat. I can not help it, because the camera and I, we, together, we can not be otherwise. We work together as soon as it is directed at me. This is demonstrated to me by these secrets in the form of photos: that any attempt to be visible, always has been a difficult act of work.
And not only that, but if we draw on each other, relate to each other, touch each other, it seems to me to be a form of work that is always deemed to something quite different, although it is exactly what it is: physical work.
Therefore, the pictures of Igor Savchenko can never be nostalgic. Though, with regard to the selection of colour you can make every effort, and the scratches and smudges, the wavey boundary lines might lead the viewer to this aberration. However, all I see is the opposite of nostalgia. It is, rather, an absolutely current presence, as a display of effort in their faces, the tight fists and a gloved hand, which catches hold of something, even in the fingers that wrap around a neck, without seeing the owner of this finger.
In all of these you can see work. Even in the objects [eg. the pictures in the picture]. Work that we perform automatically when we see the camera in front of us, because we know that it can make something out of us, at the place where we are, that it can make of us who we are. And then it says: accept or defend it. Both options take energy, effort, cost. A part of us. For, the other part is never visible. In my opinion, the mystery of photos lies not so much in what is seen, but rather in that which is not visible. Therein, it is clear that a view never reaches exactly where we are. Not even in the 21st century, where photos usually look less poetic than in the previous two centuries. So we might sometimes need to cease to exert ourselves in our efforts to always want to be seen by the camera. Or will we never come down again from this drug called visibility?