Exhibition. Presentation of the artist's book
Photo: Anna Denisova
The book by Aleksey Shchigalev includes materials of a research on the history of the decline of small aircraft in the Perm region and artifacts from the artist's personal archive. It included the documentation of the personal exhibition of Aleksey - "Observer's invisible horizon" (curator M. Pugina), held in January 2018 in Perm. An intermediate result of the work on the book was the exhibition "An-2" in the gallery Hinterconti in Hamburg (Germany) in May 2018.
The project "An-2" is devoted to the history of the author's growing up in the remote village of Ust-Cherny Perm Region. Now you can get to this hard-to-reach village only by car. In the Soviet years, there was a local air service - the network connected small towns, such as Ust-Chernaya, with the center of the region - the city of Perm. This air communication was called "small aircraft", since the transportation was carried out by small An-2 aircraft. In many parts of the Soviet Union, they successfully transported passengers until the early 1990s, until the network was destroyed for economic reasons.
This project - the first work of the artist in the genre, which is usually called the "artist's book", and it was made in the manner inherent in Aleksey: graphics and photographs accompany the lyrical comments of the artist, fragments of memories. Following the "route" of the book you can see how the signs of the past flicker and disappear. This, at the same time, is the path from childhood to adulthood, and the path from the almost mystical child perception of reality to a sober analysis of the social situation in Russia. On the example of the history of the destruction of the small aviation network in the Perm region, previously connecting small towns and villages, the artist shows how the links between his own past and the future are being destroyed. And this work is an attempt to rebuild them by attracting attention to the stories of former pilots and the history of their own family; work with personal and found photo-archives.