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RTR - RUSSIANTEAROOM GALLERY

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Sergey Maximishin « Workers »

11th May - 20th June 2010
RTR gallery

In our western and modernized society where man is machine-aided, hand labour is getting more and more rare. Our hands tape away on computer keyboards and touch screens; they are slicker, less mobilized. Preserved from hard physical conditions, our bodies should thank us. Somehow, modern aches such as « stress » and its numerous somatic troubles prompt us to react when our bodies are under pressure.
Sergey Maximishin shows hand labour as a source of income, and not as a therapy or a passing amusement.

One proceed in this restless activity not by choice but by life circomstances.

Far from sordid report of « Germinal » and Van Gogh’s potato-eaters, these workers’ scenes bring us back to life, the place of a man who earns his bread with the sweat of his brow, with the involvement of his entire body. Labour is regarded as sacred, poetized in the lens. It does not inspire compassion, but simply respect. Calloused hands, overwhelmed and sweating bodies, never flattering, dry and waxed faces conjure up Maximishin’s reportage with power and happiness. Men’s work echoes their energy, their will at tasks, substantial and efficient. Vitality radiates and spreads ouit of the frame. Beyond the colours and wealth of compositions, it is also by catching the unprevisible that Maximishin composes: an exulted laugh in the middle of the effort, a look, or an attitude. Tasks achieved by men, women and children under our eyes, arms loaded, are repetitive. The unceasing to and fro follows on and brings us in Cuba, Goa, Nepal, Iraq, Russia, and Uzbekistan… In countries where the word « work » means transitive verbs such as: push, bring, carry…

Western man cannot any longer imagine himself taking a spade, and going, repeating the same actions over and over. By outsourcing factories, by forgetting the labour of the ground, by imagining all sorts of cleverness, he makes his painful existence easier. But man has no longer the strength, neither physical, nor psychological, to achieve these tasks. Sunday spiffy handyman, voluble but powerless, like a Chekhov’s character.

Sergey Maximishin’s « Workers » give us the hope that all is not lost, that if we kindly ask them for, they could again teach us how to work.

With dignity.
 

Sergey Maximishin, photographie
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Sergey Maximishin, photographie
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Sergey Maximishin, photographie
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Sergey Maximishin, photographie
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Sergey Maximishin, photographie
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