Recreation – Viktoriia Tymonova
In this difficult time, in an era of constant transformation and change, our means of survival are family and loved ones.
‘Recreation’ is about conflicts and the succession of generations. Through the usual summer leisure I talk about the traumatic relationship between parents and children in a post-soviet society. This project consists of two self-published zines, ‘Dacha’ and ‘Turbaza’. The first one is about the summer recreation of parents, the second is about the recreation of their children.
Turbaza, as any other place where you spend your leisure time, can be chosen out of countless other options. Dacha, on the other hand, is usually left for children in its complete form, with old things from their youth, hoarded for decades.
This allegory is about how habits, traumas and constructs, which were imposed on us by our parents, are transferred to our children; an eternal, never-ending process.
I’m from Ukraine, currently living and studying for a Bachelor’s degree in photography in Ostrava, Czech Republic. My main passion and hobby is photography and art. Apart from that I’m interested in people and everything connected to them: politics, psychology, sociology, teaching, etc. All of these interests overlap in my photographic practice one way or another, and this is exactly what impresses me most about art. Art is made of everything. I’m attempting to pursue teaching photography or art for my main profession.
My journey into photography started with a collage. About five years ago, I came across some collage works online and it seemed to me that I could try to do something similar because collage is a very accessible medium. Before that I had been creating various sketchbooks and art books, expressing my thoughts, ideas and experiences in this form in different ways. Then I bought myself a large set of travel magazines for collage-making. Over time I collected more – at flea markets, from friends, and some of them I got as gifts.
Around the same time I bought my first camera. It was a half-frame Soviet film camera AGAT which I found on an online flea market. It cost about two dollars. I was impressed that one film frame could fit two, and that this also resulted in distinctive combinations – collages in itself – pairing different situations which may or may not be related.
For a long time I used these photographs for my collages, and this is how my practice began.
Most of my work revolves around the theme of nostalgia and everything surrounding it. The culture and environment in which I grew up are very nostalgic. For many decades, the people around me have been unsuccessful in parting with the past. This inevitably affected me and my view of various things, and my reactions to certain events.
In this project, I wanted to show the simultaneous difference and paradoxical similarity between people of different generations who grew up in the same culture.
Despite the fact that it seems like my generation already has a disparate worldview, it amazes me how we are still largely similar in so many ways, and how some of our reactions and preferences are determined by our general mindset or mentality.
At the same time it is very important for me to note that I agree that the concept of mindset is debatable and controversial. I would not like to generalise everything and everyone. When I say the word “mindset”, I mean the culture itself, the cultural characteristics, language, and conditions in which I/we grew up; not some unchanging set of stereotypes and behavioural regulations.
Photography is always an invitation to a dialogue. It’s an opportunity to see more. A way to look more broadly at everything that is happening, and an opportunity to express my pain or disagreement.