deals in dramatic moments of transformation. By pairing the sincerity of reportage-style photography with the cinematic devices of film noir thrillers, he suspends the uncertainty that precedes social change in ominous photographs and videos.
Parchikov’s work on view in “Fast-Moving Tides
” at Priska Pasquer Gallery preserves the mercurial range of impressions experienced during times of political and cultural shifts. In his “Burning News” photographs, his approach is direct and narrative; subjects hold burning newspapers before a snowy Russian landscape. The headline-bearing kindling, caught mid-burn, covers each individual’s face, causing an unnerving sense of anonymity and vulnerability that questions every man’s ability to access the verity behind the news. The Hitchcock-style suspense of what will happen to the people of Parchikov’s allegory aligns with the real-time anxiety surrounding what the next story will report, and whether it will be true.
In a complementary series of cityscapes, the photographs themselves undergo the alchemic changes that their urban subjects are experiencing. With a post-apocalyptic nod, Parchikov inverts the coloration of his native Moscow. The skyscraper in Moscow Cheremushky glows orange and kryptonite yellow, referring to the shape-shifting flames of “Burning News” and to the promise of spontaneous combustion. This is a city on the verge of transformation, caught in a moment between conflicts with uncertain ends.
In a third series, images of Icelandic landscapes are a calmly eerie coda. In works like Raise the dead I, Iceland, Parchikov shoots the peaceable country’s icy vistas, in some cases layering the photographs with hand-drawn symbols. While the scenes are devoid of obvious tension, dark filters, dramatic lighting, and mysterious annotations communicate a sense of hibernation come to an end—a long tranquil sleep about to be roused.
“Fast-Moving Tides” is on view at Priska Pasquer, Cologne, June 13th–Aug. 22nd, 2014