And I Had a Dream That My Heart Was No Longer In Pain...
January 19 - February 20, 2022
The exhibition "And I Had a Dream That My Heart Was No Longer In Pain..." features a series of photographs that Ksenia Plotnikova have taken at the Kamchatka summer camp over the past decade. The show is a study of being young and growing up, of memory and collective experience. It is an attempt to lay out a mosaic of impressions, recollections and delicate moments.
Ksenia Plotnikova is a photographer, curator, founder of the Yunost photo agency and the Blik photo club for teenagers, curator of the Photography course at the HSE Art and Design School, and the official photographer at the Kamchatka camp.
This is what Ksenia says about her exhibition:
"In the beginning, I was fascinated by all sorts of things - from the connection between people and nature to everyone's openness and vulnerability to the feeling of how fragile time and space are; those were the things I wanted to preserve. So what I did was record the history of the camp.
Being a document of bygone days is one of the photography's key features but also one of its central paradoxes. Photographs hold a promise of objectivity as viewers seem to be offered the result of a mechanical process of recording reality. Photographs are meant to remind us of things but, in fact, they replace memories becoming an illusion we believe in. So, over time, the focus of my project switched to memory and properties thereof as well as photography's role in shaping our memories.
Putting down all the names, telling all the stories trying not to overlook anything - this was why I took up photography in the first place. I've since made thousands of pictures. But is it even possible to preserve everything? As I kept working on my exhibition I realized and was eventually convinced that by assembling images into a single flow we do not preserve but actually erase the past, substituting it with later images. Covering our memory with new coats of paint."
The Kamchatka summer camp was opened in 2010 by Esquire Russia editor-in-chief Filipp Bakhtin and Bolshoy Gorod magazine editor-in-chief Filipp Dzyadko. It is a sleepaway camp where children live in tents supervised by prominent Russian journalists, musicians, writers, directors, screenwriters and actors. During a 12-day stay, these counselors engage their charges in all sorts of creative activities as they stage theatrical and artistic performances, shoot films and animated videos, write and recite poems. Over time, the camp has evolved into a broad community that has given rise to some big and ambitious projects. Over the years, the following couselors took part in the project: film director Boris Khlebnikov, screenwriter Elena Vanina, founder of the Theory and Practice website Danil Perushev, Samoe Bolshoe Prostoe Chislo band frontman Kirill Ivanov, Afisha magazine editor-in-chief Ilya Krasilshchik, musicians Vasily Zorky, Dmitry Ustinov, Manizha, Pasha Artemiev, Lera Kogan and Varvara Chirkina, cellist Boris Andrianov, actresses Viktoria Tolstoganova and Olga Sutulova, actors Mikhail Plutakhin and Evgeny Tsyganov, journalist Oliver Carroll, TV personality Alexander Gudkov, designers Maria Melkosyants and Alexey Bystrov, artist Liza Smirnova, regatta organizer Alexander Skolkov, and founder of the Shalash charity foundation Lilia Brainis. Curiously enough, the Kamchatka camp doesn't have a permanent address. It began in Russia's Pskov Region before moving to Estonia's largest island of Saaremaa.