The first solo exhibition, "Topophilia", of the young artist Bogdan Shirokov, will be presented at Lazy Mike Gallery in Moscow from May 19 to June 20, 2021.
The exhibition features a series of photographs and art objects of the author, exploring the phenomenon of personal space. The author sees it as a primal need for an individual. Shirokov proposes that this need for refuge is a topoanalytical project which examines spaces through a systematic psychological approach that plays a crucial role in an inner life of a person.
The author's total installation will be displayed exclusively at Lazy Mike Gallery.
Bogdan Shirokov's project "Topophilia" is a series of objects and photographs addressing the phenomenon of space as a metaphysical subject. In his works, Bogdan explores the meaning of personal space in human life and its psychological connotation as a sanctuary or a shelter. Four walls correspond to four semantic spheres of meaning in accordance with the terminology of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard used in his outstanding work "The Poetic of Space".
"Even if such spaces have suddenly become extinct from our present or future, they live in us pre- serving a sense of peace, as we once found reconciliation in them. Even if we are suddenly caught up in daydreams, reminiscing of the past, of something intact and welcoming, these places convey a sen- sation of security, the place which heals, which doesn't want to disappear and as before belongs to us", – comments the artist.
The first part,The Road Home, represents a journey that sends back our subconscious to the place where we grew up: the parents' house and how we used to feel there. It plays a funda- mental role in the constitution of the psyche. Figuratively, it is the nest where a person was nur- tured and brought up. The path to it, whatever it may be, incites peace and tranquillity. This home is our unconditional universe.
The second part, "Forgiveness and Reconciliation", is about accepting the inner home and re- turning to it, searching for protection. The road to parental home is not always easy and often involves overcoming and forgiving. We all sometimes want to find ourselves back within our walls, be transported into a carefree childhood, and feel the true comfort that flows from our past. And even if things are not as happy as we'd like them to be, our subconscious mind helps us cope with it by substituting memories. "When we are in a daydreaming state of mind, we dream of home, and then we feel that warmth again, that intimate fabric of the material world.
The third part is called "Elements of Shelter". Here we see the puzzles, the sacred elements that constitute the memory, the points of contact with the past, with the places we have visited.They are threads connecting the present to the past. Here is the realm of materialized memories, the sanctuary of our dreams.
The fourth part is "Throwing yourself into the world. It is portrayed as a projection of the early stages of memory. When a person who has been in a comfortable state is suddenly thrown outside, taken out of the comfort of his home, it is the moment of farewell with the paternal home and the encounter with the unknown: a new world, big dreams, and limitless opportunit ies. As a defence mechanism against the hostility of the outside world, he is comforted by the memory of his bygone home.That memory is nourishing him with love towards new people and the external macrocosm.
Essentially, the exhibition is a topoanalytical project, a systematic psycho- logical investigation of spaces that play an essential role in our inner life. Bogdan Shirokov attempts to decipher the level of daydreaming that we indulge in the margins of our solitude. He seeks to examine the personality, to reach out to the unconscious, hidden by us behind seven locks.
"We believe that the problem that Bogdan raises in his exhibition is more relevant than ever".
Each of us experiences numerous personal tragedies and problems within ourselves but often unable to open up to others because of the fear of being misunderstood and rejected. The keyword here is "each". That is why it is crucial to communicate with each other, be more attentive to others, and learn to support and appreciate people.
Usually, our work is not connected with photography, but Bogdan is different from the conventional understanding of artists working in this technique: he thinks in terms of installations, creating at once an utterly immersive universe within one work.We regard Bogdan's work as incredibly unique for the local landscape, and therefore we are delighted to be able to work together" – say Mikhail Ovcharenko and Tatiana Stern, owners of the Lazy Mike Gallery.