On kinks

On kinks
Mikhail Alabugin

“Yes, if the living body is cut into pieces, they will writhe in search of each other. And there is no other way out. ”, A. Solzhenitsyn from the story “On kinks ”

The search for answers to questions about the meaning of life at all times worries humanity, becoming the main theme for the creative acts of many artists. Works of visual and verbal culture, as one of the most understood tools for reading the events of reality, contain information about what is happening. Solzhenitsyn was never just a writer, he was a citizen, a philosopher, a historian, and a “prophet-preacher” (as he always called himself). All his works are inextricably linked with the fate of the country, with its "pains" and adversities; all imbued with civil anxiety.

Photographer Mikhail Alabugin (Novokuznetsk-Moscow) always talks about borderline states, shows nature either before awakening, or after dying. In the landscapes of Alabugin, there is no riot of colors, bright colors, these are dry trees with kinks, chinks, this is “lived” living material telling about its fate.

Solzhenitsyn's 1996 story “On kinks”, which gave the name to the exhibition project, tells about the moments of the most dramatic social and historical shifts, about the most critical moments of personal and social existence. The kinks of social life, like the kinks of the surface, leave an indelible mark on the face of history. The photographs of Alabugin suggest the viewer to read the broken forest as a form of life, once taken root in the ground and dying on the same “own” ground. If Solzhenitsyn in his story draws two characters as the embodiment of national talent and perseverance, unrevealed love for the country, then Alabugin interprets his only character, the forest, as a universal environment animated by the texture of life, in which the train of historical events passes again and again, phenomena occur and become the architectural foundation of the new world. Both characters Solzhenitsyn, Yemtsov and Tolkovyanov, do not want to surrender even in the most difficult conditions in which they are forced, by virtue of the eternal Russian non-customer, to self-realize, to strive for the stars. Similarly, the collective image of the forest of Alabugin is drawn to the viewer as an allusion to the phrase "live, no matter what." Although our eye convinces us that once living forest has practically turned into a dry fallen tree, the musicality of the lines, silhouettes, bends of trees that have fallen but not trampled down, speak about the energy of life.They hold each other in exactly the same way as the heroes of the story; they also hope for renewal and rebirth / restoration from the ashes.

Solzhenitsyn’s story and Alabugin’s visual statements in various languages, literary and graphic, express the complex idea of ​​reviving the country, reviving respect for the human personality, reviving the conditions for new growth opportunities. Will Russia be home for those living in it? Change or be a natural continuation of the past? In this, as it seems to me, the nerve of Solzhenitsyn and Alabugin's thoughts, it is these anxieties that unite the writer and the photographer. The works of the authors give the viewer hope that everything will normalize, acquire civilized forms, and acquire them with the vital contribution of each creative and forming element.

Anna Galeeva, curator of exhibition projects