Andrey Bogush: Proust, baroque and birds

Zippora Elders talks with Andrey Bogush, who was a Foam Talent of 2014, about the possibilities of technology, his love for nature and if Putin might blow up the world. A moment with a visual artist to watch.

from Bogush' show When everything is over so we can discuss, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland, 2016 © Andrey Bogush 

When asked about his biggest fascinations, Andrey Bogush answers: ‘Romanticism, Venice and Florence; Baroque and folding; Proust, Deleuze and Heidegger; music, in particular Messiaen, Ligeti, Mahler; birds and trees, home gardening and forests.’ These interests point at someone in touch with his surroundings, nature and the senses, as well as someone who loves books, texts and thoughts. We envision someone impassioned about beauty and the delicate things of life, conscious about the importance of silence and reflection.

And yet, Andrey Bogush’s work interacts with contemporary visual culture a lot. He incorporates clever nods to fashion and advertising aesthetics in his work and sometimes works for brands. His presentations are striking; one exhibition featured a monumental shower curtain which showed Adidas socks surrounded by bright colours, and at Foam Talent he showed large, colourful prints with artificial forms.

from Bogush' show When everything is over so we can discuss, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland, 2016 © Andrey Bogush 

Photoshop is one of the artist’s main tools, with he uses to make layered works consisting of shapes, lines and patterns. On the one hand this looks very ‘digital,’ on the other hand we recognize an intuitive way of working and the (indirect) gesture of a sensitive mind and crafty hand. In essence Bogush explores the possibilities of space and time on the picture plane like many artists did before, but in his own very unique way, characteristic of our times. He really pushes the boundaries of the surface.

‘I like activating the borders between photographic and non-photographic, playing with 3D-renderings of objects – are they more photographic or less photographic?’ Surfaces and interfaces interest him a lot: ‘I’m curving my images and screens now and that way my files become distorted. I approach images like pixels, dots, layers: seemingly flat sculptures. But images are also sets of data. Can information be flat? They are tagged, reblogged, liked; paper is folded and getting ripped off, screens get broken, sticky wallpapers manipulate spaces.’

Proposal for two curtains (yellow background), 2015 © Andrey Bogush 

Although he works within the digital realm, Bogush uses his daily activities as his studio. Ideally his practice is intertwined with his everyday routines, organic moments of laziness, inspiration. He takes his images during long walks or simply at home. He collects all his images in digital files, some of them he directly shares on Tumblr. ‘But when it comes to exhibitions, the sites become very important. The question is how to present an image that I once shared on my website or Tumblr into a physical space, beyond the interface.’

from Bogush' show When everything is over so we can discuss, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland, 2016 © Andrey Bogush

For the execution of his works, Bogush prefers to use big manufacturers and corporate software. ‘There's something subliminal to them. Now I work with manufactured materials like vinyls or digital weaving. The works becomes less personal and more like a chain in the capitalist production. Also, the materials are quite generic and flimsy, which contradicts the monumental scale of the works.’

Not even 30, Bogush has already travelled and moved a lot. This displacement influenced his work, which demonstrates a free spirit in touch with today’s constant flux of images and information, appropriating the aesthetics of the powers in play. ‘I’m curious what will happen in the future: we live in times of crisis, media influx and bio-technologies. During the Crimean events I thought Putin was going to blow this planet away. But maybe there's still a chance for subjectivity and criticism. I'm so excited when I see new generations growing up in our post-media era, and at the same time I’m secretly glad I’m already a bit ‘old’ – I can enjoy symphony concerts and spending my time walking in the mountains or watching birds.’

Proposal for found image, computer screen and drawing (16:9), 2016 © Andrey Bogush 

About Andrey Bogush

Andrey Bogush (1987) was one of 21 photographers selected for Foam Talent 2014. The Russian-born artist lives in Finland and works mostly autonomously and sometimes on commission. His practice includes photography and video, as well as digital work and spatial objects. In 2014 his work was shown in Foam Magazine and in the traveling Foam Talent exhibition. His work is currently on view at the The Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki (until 15 August 2016).

Other profiles

Ren Hang: Beyond Translation

Ren Hang: Beyond Translation

Profiles, posted on 9 February 2017
Sofia Borges: Full of mystery and paradox

Sofia Borges: Full of mystery and paradox

Profiles, posted on 10 January 2017
Antonio Ottomanelli: <br>Persistent Ground Surveillance System

Antonio Ottomanelli:
Persistent Ground Surveillance System

Profiles, posted on 1 November 2016
Samuel Gratacap: <br>A hostile setting

Samuel Gratacap:
A hostile setting

Profiles, posted on 25 October 2016