File 386. Military Parade on Victory Day, Moscow by Nikita Shokhov at
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File 386. Military Parade on Victory Day, Moscow, 2015

Digital file, photographstilljpgDigital artwork
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About the artwork

While belonging to the documentary tradition, SCAN goes beyond the boundaries of traditional “direct” photography. The use of slit scanning photography allows me to capture 40 seconds of reality in one image. Movable objects, such as cars and people, undergo a process of plastic deformation evoking the spirit of photography in the era of "post-truth". We see a crowd as one united body. My subject matter includes holiday celebrations, political rallies, military parades, and sacred procession. These activities, which invariably support dominant ideologies, fulfill the human need for belonging. In this time of social distancing, images of mass gatherings have acquired additional meanings. SCAN explores the phenomenon of mass processions as a manifestation of “carnival” in its more traditional role; an escape from fear. I observe that fashion of merging with the crowd for Russians is very natural while Americans stand out of the crowd in every possible way. Russian mentality flourishes in a communal experience, while Americans often formally participate in official events and then go home to express their true nature within their family. Notably, that political protests such as the Black Lives Matter movement are rather communal.