Andrey Bogush (b. 1987) is an artist working with lens-based media, photography and video, currently based in Imatra, Finland. His current projects study topographic issues. His works have been exhibited in Russia and Poland.
Can you tell us something about you?
I ‘m 21 years old lens-based artist raised in St-Petersburg, Russia.
Where do you live and work now?
Currently, I live in Imatra, a small Finnish city nearby Russian border. I ‘m studying visual arts programme here but next year I am going to move to Helsinki to study at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.
How long have you been a photographer?
I began to take my photographic practice seriously four or five years ago, though for a much longer period, I was using a camera like anyone using this device in his or her everyday life.
How did you get into photography?
My relationships with photography started with a strong desire to memorize the reality and share it through photography and video with others. However, of course, I did not analyze my obsession when I just began to use them. In 2005, I took a one-year course in photography at the Lensovet Photography School. Then after a year, I began to cooperate with Fotodepartament, organization working with photography, and in 2007, I have participated in the Young Russian Photography project, which was conducted by it.
Where your inspiration comes from?
I think I would say that my inspiration usually evolve from visual works of other authors. I mean, in my artistic work, I am trying to study the ways to use the media; hence, I am interested in how others use them. Therefore, it is like a study of different visual cultures. The Humblearts project is probably most fruitful tool for my search, though I am also using Flickr and other net-based services for it. At the same time, my personal experience usually becomes a basis for my projects and has an impact on the choice of objects and problems to study in the works. I mean it is my personal life on the one hand, and cultural, political or even science issues that mean something to me on the other hand. These influences usually intersect each other and I think of them as a part of my personality. So it could be said that in this way the reason for an inspiration is a sort of self-examination. The last but not the least way for an inspiration is the visual reality itself. Probably it is the main chain in my work – to find something visually interesting to depict through photography or video.
What does it mean for you streetphotography?
For me the word Streetphotography is very linked with Cartier-Bresson. That is why I cannot (and do not want to) say that I do like streetphotography nor make it. From the perspective that streetphotography is about something in the street, I can say that I do like such photographs and my current projects are focused on it. In these projects, my focus is on the changeable environment I face. I am also very interested in New Topographic project and Düsseldorf School photographers like the Bechers, Struth and Gursky. Finnish photographers Ilkka Halso and Jorma Puranen are also one of my favorite authors working with environment and landscape issues.
Can you tell us something about your portraits, what is important to focus for you?
I do not think that I make portraits, like August Sander or Tanyth Berkeley did. My pictures are more about light and interiors; the person for me becomes a part of the scene. In my projects with people, I have studied different issues, for example, my attitudes towards religion in the Sacrifice / Invention series, photographic fortuitousness in the Cabinet of Curiosities series and the notion of personal memory and home in the Seven Attempts to Re-build series. On the other hand, being a gay artist makes me search for gender related issues and in a certain way all my projects that possess humans are linked with such issues (ideologically and visually).
What are your future works, do you have a special project?
I am going to continue making my current topographic series. Also just recently, I have begun making still life photography series with focus on perception of objects and the gestalt theory. These are going to be very formalistically studies of still life and pseudo still life through the medium of photography and image editing software. However, I do not want to plan too much about what will happen next as art (especially lens-based art) is an enterprise where results can be achieved somehow accidentally and turn out greater than expectations.