For anyone interested in photography cultures, the Kharkiv school of photography has always been a source of intrigue. Emerging under the backdrop of Soviet oppression of artists, a host of photographers looked to break from the aesthetic mold imposed upon them by the state. Largely centered around the Vremya group, they constructed a distinct and unique aesthetic that did not look to replicate Western schools of photography but create something entirely distinct. Perhaps as a consequence of being largely cut off from the West and through sheer boldness, the Kharkiv school has continued to shape the ever boundary-challenging photography community of Ukraine.
Since then, successive photographers have followed in the steps of the likes of Boris Mikhailov to push photography further and further while working within comparatively freer conditions, yet albeit challenging ones economically. Following in a similar sentiment, Igor Chekachkov has contributed perhaps more than anyone else to continue to sustain the Kharkiv School’s beliefs. His sexually-charged work brings intimacy and eroticism to the forefront in a lucid display of talent.
Since 2017, Igor has also been running a photo school in Kharkiv. In a community where there is minimal gallery support and the end result for most photographers is wedding photography, Igor wanted to create a space where photographers could foster their sense of curiosity and gain feedback from peers. Igor says that he wants to help photographers shape their own language and decode the reality they exist in through their lens. Through offering this space for photographers, Igor hopes to both sustain and grow the adventurism that first emerged in the 70’s and show that Kharkiv still has it.
“I’m afraid of this shit”
“Everyone has their own planet.”
“Look! There is a plastic life around us.”
“emptiness is always filled”
“Do you know how to make this reality more attractive? Paint it, try.”
“Only you decide whether to show your true face.”
“Light gives everyone his personal reality.”
“Hospice is about life”
“Human, All Too Human”
“Others face more difficult problems”
“Men do not understand the shades of red.”
“If you take a visual garbage from the city streets and put it on your face, it is not be possible to ignore it.”