Planet Lovigin by Petr Lovigin
The title of the book Planet Lovigin is apt: Look through the artist’s blog, and it’s likely your head will be spinning. I don’t speak Russian (at least not yet), so I have no idea what that all means. But it’s fairly obvious that Lovigin is happy to create his own little photographic world, combining all kinds of photographic sensibilities that I’m usually used to seeing in different, separate contexts.
The book makes looking at the work a bit easier, especially since there is considerable amount of additional text (in the form of descriptions and/or a conversation between the photographer and Anna-Patricia Kahn), most of it playful, some of it a bit, well… Here’s something: “Lenin is part of Russian history that is quite stupid, quite bloody.” That’s quite right, quite flippant. But these minor quibbles aside, Planet Lovigin offer a very different take on photographic story telling, both in terms of how the individual images were created and in terms of how the photographs are presented and combined with the text.
Given that Russia is often photographically presented as a dreary, solemn place (especially by Western photojournalists), Planet Lovigin offers a welcome, different take, a take that, I’m sure, not everybody will be happy with. I suppose the Loviginian response to that would be: Hey, deal with it, and have some fun! Why not put things on their heads and see what the world looks like that way?
Planet Lovigin, photographs by Petr Lovigin, texts by Anna-Patricia Kahn and Petr Lovigin, 112 pages, Kehrer, 2012