Through the eyes of an invisible onlooker. The photographic practice of George Kascheev
Volume II featured artist, George Kascheev, is a multidisciplinary artist who uses photography as a way to capture the hidden aspects of our world.
My first impression of George Kashcheev's work was an atmosphere of seclusion, contrasting and smooth colors, late-night shootings, and hypnagogic environments that seemed as if they belonged on another planet.
Kashcheev’s latest body of work, World is not your home - an exploration of the artist's worldly perspective of different cultures and countries- is both a continuation of the artist’s earlier depiction of the subtle facets of nature and an exploration of more inward territory: the enthralling experience of surrealism and uniqueness we can find in every corner of the world. Many of the photographs of this collection reflect not only a need for the artist to experiment with his own creativity but also a desire that the audience experiences the world through Kashcheevis' eyes- becoming entangled with a sense of compassion and tenderness for the world around us.
The artist's early fascination for the simple events of life is a transparent emotion pouring out his works. Although it does not mean we as viewers experience the touristic walked landscapes. Kascheev depicts spaces as a spectator, an uninvited observer of unique moments only a curious bystander can witness. Observing the collection through the perspective of the viewer provides added depth to the works by allowing the viewer to experience a moment that would otherwise be missed by most people, giving the photographies the mystical and surreal quality that the artist strives to conjure.
For George, moments of exploration and isolation in foreign lands become opportunities to find enchantment in the act of just contemplating. The present first-person perspectives seen through the eyes of an invisible onlooker.
First of all, introduce yourself to our readers. Who is George Kascheev, and what is the context we need to know about you?
Hi, I'm George, 23 years old multidisciplinary artist. Right now I'm concentrating on photography and cinematography. I was born far in the north of Russia, where temperatures dropped to -55 degrees. At 18 I moved to St.Petersburg and at 19 I left my University for an exciting project - an adventure to Africa and by 20 became an Ambassador of Panasonic Lumix.
I dedicated all my conscious youth to my craft, aiming to expand the boundaries of my worldview through different kinds of creativity.
In photography, I hunt for hidden shots of our universe, with a touch of surrealism.
Do you remember when you first realized you wanted to be an artist? How did this change throughout the years- your idea of what being an artist means?
I remember when I was 13 or 14 years old I began making video clips and that was the starting point for me to become an artist. When I entered the world of art, I started trying everything, from filming and editing to music and tattoos. I didn't really know what path I was on at the time. The first time I felt like a real artist was during Сovid, it was like my senses were heightened and as I went through my photo archives from Iceland I saw something more in my work than just pictures on a screen and at that moment I wanted to make myself known in the world. To be an artist means to endow your art with great meaning and to walk selflessly, without seeking profit, towards the abstract pictures in your head.
Your practice focuses on the hidden aspects of our world. Can you deconstruct this concept for us?
I'll try to explain. Endless events are happening everywhere around us. Imagine a nighttime street in a poor city where you happen to be a guest. In the chaos and poorness, it's very hard to see anything that catches your eye. And then suddenly you are led to one point where some atypical event occurs as if it were a glitch in the system. Something that is not typical of this place, or happens very rarely. There are children standing on the street, waiting in the aisle of one house for something to happen in amazement. They are illuminated only by the light from an interior lamp, and it is pitch black outside. It was your intuition that led you to this event, to this little episode of life. Or rather, the window to a little life. And there are not many such secret episodes around us. My most important goal is to learn to see them everywhere.
As a 23 years old artist who has traveled through 53 countries of the world and counting, what can you tell us about these experiences?
It's something worth dropping everything for. It develops your creative language so much that you become a real professional in a short period of time. Interacting with cultures gives you freedom of thought and breaking down boundaries. The neural networks in your head are in constant tone and it is very easy to decide to move to another country (which is actually what I am doing now). My last experience of life (experience moving to another country) was in Morocco. I lived there for 4 months.
How do you plan the travel itinerary and choose the places to visit?
Since I was 18 years old, I co-owned a travel company and we specialized in traveling to fairly popular destinations on the planet. That's how I learned to plan trips thoroughly. Everything depends more on the projects I want to shoot. For example, I went to Morocco directly after my skater friend from America who I had agreed to meet somewhere in the world. After a few conversations, I had the idea to make a whole documentary about Moroccan skateboarding. And I'll add, I always wanted to go to the most non-touristy and not fully explored places. There is nothing like the feeling of being a discoverer.
Do you have any partnerships with organizations that help you move around a country or reach certain places?
Right now I only have an ambassadorship from Panasonic Lumix, they give me equipment for my projects. And for travel, I have my own travel company, with which I can gather adventurers and go to the other side of the earth. Going to Morocco, Namibia and South Africa soon!
What do you think is the role of the artist?
An artist is a guide to the world of the extraordinary and hidden. He has no role and owes no one anything. It is a phenomenon, a flash that touches everything around with its brightness. And it distracts people from unnecessary problems, politics, and evil. I see it that way and follow such flashes very actively. When they shine, the world is at least a little calmer.
Read more about the artist on Volume II of the magazine.
World Is Not Our Home Series, 2020-2022
In his project "World Is Not Our Home", the artist strives to reflect the most subtle facets of our nature and tries to discern the human aspects of it. In his photographic works, he does not stick to one style but adheres to his core concept of letting a viewer know that they belong to something ethereal. He uses his highly experimental photographic language to show people the unconventionality of the picture of our world, t o highlight an overall state of surrealism of what is happening around us and to reveal the deeper meanings of our universe.
When George opens the title of his project with the word World, he means it, literally: the 23 years old artist has traveled through 53 countries of the world and counting. This is why this series consists of such a variety of colours and landscapes, that George uses as the means to express the overflow of emotions that he experiences on his travels.
Through his photography, George communicates his excitement and his love for life on this planet, which makes perfect sense, because he sees himself as a guest, a traveler on this planet, which is exciting, isn't it?
All Images Courtesy of George Kashcheev
George Kascheev is a multidisciplinary artist who uses photography as a way to capture the hidden aspects of our world. Born in the Komi Republic, Russia he moved to St. Petersburg at the age of 18, and a year he quit university in order to fully dedicate himself to his first project and a trip to Africa. He is a Panasonic Lumix ambassador.
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