Moscography - Photograpic Eras & Realities - Zakari Gilbert

"What can be done about time,
  About fading black and white photographs,
  What can be done about oblivion?"
Ioulia Kounina
This exhibition is the fourth dedicated by this artist to Russia. Married to writer Ioulia Kounina of Russian descent, Zakari Gilbert has had the opportunity of travelling to Moscow a number of times. His sojourns there enabled him to tame the city and clear his mind of irreverent scrutiny.
Moscography is a very personal point of view of the Russian capital as presented to us by the photographer. Midway between impressions and a documentary, the exhibition plunges us into a hybrid world where places, eras and techniques intermingle. Archival images dating back to the 1970s and 1980s showing everyday signs of the Russian regime are superimposed over ones Gilbert captured in 2011 and 2012 with film cameras – some of which were manufactured in Russia. Superimposed and double exposure images are presented side by side in a contemplative show that is both intimate yet universal. The mood almost feels like a stroll through Moscow portrayed in two moments, where human figures and recurring ones of a young girl offer us present day views that seem somewhat distant yet truly of our time. It appears as if the photographer were making the characters speak by integrating texts penned by his spouse, poems that are like translations of states of mind that plunge us, the viewers, even further into the images. Accompanying these colour and black and white photographs the artist has also created a soundtrack, a collage where different sounds combine, going from nostalgic to even childlike at times. Zakari Gilbert turned himself into a ‘gleaner’ to achieve this effect, recording street sounds with his iPod – from groups of travelling musicians and children’s songs to tunes aired on the radio. Also featured in the exhibition is a slide show with archival and personal photographs by the artist where characters, places and symbols both current and past slowly dissolve into fade out. Moscographie – Époques et réalités photographiques is an exhibition that deserves to be savoured ever so slowly.


Voir Québec, August 2012


René-Richard Library
9 Forget Street


 © All rights reserved, Rêves d'automne, Festival of painting, 2014
Photo Credits: Charlotte Harvey, Héli-Charlevoix, Humberto Pinochet,Ginette Vandal, Louis Laliberté

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