MAMM continues its collaboration with young photographers, and according to tradition the Photobiennale 2014 Festival features several new names, among them a Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia graduate Nikita Shokhov. Despite his youth Shokhov has already acquired an impressive exhibition history and received a World Press Photo award in 2014.
Shokhov responds with great sensitivity to what Boris Mikhailov, Sergei Chilikov and Nikolai Bakharev achieved earlier in Soviet and Russian photography. His camera captures absurd and often ugly realities, yet he undoubtedly shows a talent for dissecting the everyday and rendering it visible and literally perceptible. Shokhov photographed the series Moscow Night Life in very diverse places of entertainment: he makes no distinction between hipsters from Solyanka, strip club visitors in the outer suburbs, arty hangers-on at Polytechnic Museum soirées and the well-heeled men in VIP zones. In Shokhov’s photographs all of them resemble carnival revellers, and the way this carnival is depicted appears strongly reminiscent of Bakhtin. Their club antics are like stepping onto the square of a mediaeval town at carnival time, ruled by the ‘base desires’ so familiar to us. In clubs, as in casinos, time no longer exists, commonplace spatial coordinates are disrupted, and people in this state do not dance, relax or converse – their state is most easily described as a trance, an escape from the boundaries of their own body. Nikita Shokhov is more of an observer than a participant, allowing him to see the comedy, squalor, absurdity or strange tenderness of the events around him.
Moscow Night Life
by Nikita Shokhov
From March 25 till May 4, 2014
Zurab Tsereteli Art Gallery