"Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
-Alan Watts

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Self Curatorial Project

–Press Release–

Emotional Impressions:
Visual Cognitions of Spaces
A duet of visual explorations presented by Stephen Shilling II and Alexey Titarenko
Curated by: Stephen Shilling II

Grouping view: Top Row: Stephen Shilling II's images 
Bottom Row: Alexey Titarenko's images

     Alexey Titarenko received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Department of Cinematic and Photographic Art at Leningrad's Institute of Culture in 1983. He began taking photographs at the beginning of the 1970s, and in 1978 became a member of the well-known Leningrad photographic club Zerkalo, where he had his first solo exhibition (1978).
     Titarenko has received numerous awards from institutions such as the Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg; and the Mosaique program of the Luxemburg National Audiovisual Centre. He has participated in many international festivals, biennales, and projects and has had more than 30 personal exhibitions, both in Europe and the United States.
The artist is represented exclusively by Nailya Alexander Gallery 
41 East 57th street, 10022, New York, NY, USA  |  Phone: +1.212.315.2211

     Stephen Shilling II is a photography student currently exploring the photographic medium at the School of Visual Arts. Tired of the traditional and enduring past–mind of photography he focuses on energy and the theory of the “universal vibration resonance” of life’s energies. Believing that photographs, sculptures, paintings and so forth are not works of art but rather art products, a phrase first coined by Prof. John Dewey, he works to explore photography with a present–mind. The current norm among art institutions and in the critical world of art is focused on speaking about work in a predominantly non-progressive way, utilizing, to a great degree, only it’s “past–mind.”  he believes that, “if one begins to speak about a photograph so that in their mind they have formed an image from their memory, which is already in their “past–mind” or if one begins to consciously reference a previous work of art then what has happened is they have accepted a previously existing authority on the matter and transformed the current art product to the past object, to what has happened and neglected to look at what is happening.”  It is his own firm belief that “there should exist no criteria for producing or experiencing art” and that “art is either successfully brought about or not, and this of course depends on the personal cognitive interactions laid forth by each audience member individually.”
  These thoughts have not brought about a radically new style of photography, nor has the artist expressed a desire to produce something that has never before been seen and is totally, visually original.  “I merely wish to produce objects which I feel embody a visual hint towards the emotions, the energies, the truths of a place, an object or what have you. Other than that how the audience interprets my work is up to them as it is and should be totally out of my control for, what authority do I have to tell people how to think? None. I’m merely dissatisfied with the current ‘past–mind’ point of view from which we approach art and the lack of progressive thought that’s restricted for not just photography but art as a whole form of expression. You see, art is a language, and languages should not have limitations, least of all art. There should not exist this photographic dialect that cannot be quite so understood by the painters, the carpenters, the designers, writers or the musicians who each have in turn their own dialect. Rather, art as a language, is an expression of emotions in hopes that members of the audience will be given a doorway into an experience similar to that of the producer.”
   “What must be brought about is not necessarily a new form of art. Rather, there must be a change in our consciousness from which art or the art product is created and thus, how it is viewed. This, I feel, can manifest itself in the minds of man as a way of transforming already created art products into new products themselves, almost as if a new style had come about. In the free mind, in the mind done away with past–mindedness authority, man can observe absolute truth in the world around him. By freeing the mind when viewing anything, something new can be brought about. This I believe to be totally true.”

       In Emotional Impressions: Visual Cognitions of Spaces curator and photographer Stephen Shilling II pairs his own work with the work of established contemporary Russian photographer Alexey Titarenko.  Titarenko has expressed that with the images of St. Petersburg he focused on trying to visually represent the feelings and emotions of places he found stimulating throughout the city of St. Petersburg.  His use of multiple exposures intend to assist in providing a disconnect between the viewer and the place represented in the photograph by showing a non-objective reality of the location. What’s photographed cannot be actually and objectively seen if one were to go and view those spaces. However, what is apparent is the sensation that Titarenko has translated inner emotional experiences into a sort of legible or understandable, visual language.
     Stemming from a similar philosophical approach to the photographic medium, Stephen Shilling II chose to focus more on the printing of the images rather than simply the photographing of them.  The rich tones of the images combined with the heavier contrast (in comparison to Titarenko’s work) create the sensation that some of the spaces photographed are about to experience an earthquake. There is a sense of vibration in the total and absolute stillness of his images. The relationship between Titarenko’s flowing and breathy, multiple motion exposures and Shilling’s stark and stagnant still images play very well together. Both artists bring about the sensation of emotion, and movement which can be thought about as Shillings’ “universal vibration resonance” theory.

Citation Notice: All information about Alexey Titarenko was gathered from his "About" page on his website.

-ALEXEY TITARENKO | PHOTOGRAPHY. Web. 3 Dec. 2011. <http://alexeytitarenko.com/about.html>.

Note: All my images are my own and all of Alexey Titarenko's images are under his Copyright protection. I've merely appropriated them for use in an educational context.

Additional Note: The beginning eight warm-toned images are of mine while the second group of eight neutral-toned images are Alexey's.

Universal Vibration Resoncance is not yet a set in stone term, nor has the definition been entirely laid out yet. Another possible and the original term was "Existential Vibrational Resonance(s)"; I've not yet decided which term to use. There may still be a better term out there.
This is similar to but working separately, apart from the information located on this site: 



  1. I'm never able to edit and revise my writings until I see them in a somewhat finalized state. I've already made over 10 revisions to this since it's time of publication. It's just like writing papers on my computer. I cannot edit them until I can have a pen or pencil in hand and a hard copy on my lap.