Aleksei Kazantsev‘s photographs from ‘Light Forms Grey Forms Dark Forms’ are dark mysterious pictures that draw us into the mythos of nature. The woods and forests of our imagination.
These self portraits render Kazantsev amorphous, a moving figure from a dream, a nightmare, floating, not quite of nature yet wholly part of it, the twilight giving depth to his pictures and rooting them deep into the history of the landscape on which he treads. And yet these are not isolated places. They are locations that exist on the fringes of our cities, of his urban environment in Belgium. Yet, when the sun sets these innocuous places – that we pass everyday, that are unremarkable, unnoticed, dull and uninteresting – come to life and his imagination stirs, his emotional senses awaken to the existence of a world that belongs to a different realm.
For over two years Kazantsev has been traipsing into the fields and forests around his hometown of Antwerp to reflect on the mystical and elemental spirit of nature and the result is these pictures. Photographs that remind us that the mechanistic determinism of our lives is only one small aspect of the totality of existence. That there is more that lies beneath the ordinary. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
Every image shows or hides my own body as a formless motion shape whirling into the landscape. I use different locations, all within urban area not far from my house. These places are recognizable and boring to me during the daylight and unknown and weird in the dark. The original attempt to make an image of that second side, led me to the ritual when for 10 seconds of camera exposure I become an element of the wild-land, the same as a dead tree or a pile of grass.