Rus Eng

Vladimir Barinov belongs to those few photographers, in whose hands a camera turns in an X-ray apparatus. Invisible beams ignore signs of time, luxury goods, attributes of the social position, and stop only having reached the essence — the connection point of the physical and the spiritual in the absolute, in the perfect form, in that intersection where a person loses individual qualities, criteria, attributes, becoming an embodiment of Life, Dao. But this, as the author admits, is only a part of one big research. As any keen person, an artist, scientist, he would like to own the object of research totally, to unwind the thread down to the beginning by all means, to know — what was before, who was conformable to this sacrament, special alchemy of body? Archeological excavations of space are simply inevitable in that case, and lead at times to results, which threaten history with a certain exposure. In all meanings.

Project “The Code of Bathers”

“I create what I cannot find. But first of all I am a collector...”

The collection of the submitted stereo images was found in Tashkent. “I did not know what for I went to Tashkent. That is, there was an actual reason, but I felt there should happen something else. And here I completely casually find these stereos in the first seven hours of my stay in Tashkent, laying actually on the ground among books on forensic medicine. Now we are trying to find the name of the author of these images but until now we have not succeeded. ".

“The Code of Bathers” is a full project, a certain separate story in history, where the bathers are like an image transforming in time, but remaining constant in centuries: whether they are young maidens in a bath on ancient Japanese engravings, confused young ladies of Renaissance or Russian city dwellers on Crimean beaches in the 30s  ears of the 20th century. These are special essences: they are light and innocent, natural and vulnerable because of that. Each epoch carries away its bathers ruthlessly, as they are not capable to adapt to regimes, conditions of time, rules and orders. Being unguided they are inconvenient, but the history repeats, and again the bathers appear — in other places, changing their image, but again the unique code, which is conformable to these creations, is to be yourself in harmony with the nature.

“These works are a sensational material. At that time images of naked body were totally prohibited. And it is simply incredible that such photographs survived. Obviously, this is not a politized gesture from the side of the bathers, neither it is a protest. And now one can look at them only as at a good movie with some dramatic art, a plot, a story, a drama.” Vladimir Barinov.

The bathers are such girls who left their stuffy cities starving from noise and a dust, from despondency and work. They came at the Crimean shores and, having rejected any fear together with unnecessary rags, became a harmonious part of natural beauty of the Black Sea coast. The sun, salty air, fine nude bodies... And in fact this is about Russia of the 1930s. Sepia. Camera. The shutter clicks. Come on. Industrialization, plans, strict management. One order after another, one instruction after another, prohibitions, denunciations, imprisonments. Art is strictly subordinated to rules and if not subordinated, then forbidden. The Russian Photographic Society is closed. The image of a Soviet woman is extremely simple — a worker in worker’s uniform.

But essences in these photographs are outside of time and context, they are as if cut out from ancient books on harmony and eternity and pasted in the black-and-white Soviet reality. A malicious joke, a ridiculous experiment? The bathers as an embodiment of the naturalness of existence, ease, beauty, life are opposed to the social mode that sang the priority of men above the nature, aspiring to bridle, subdue the nature. Dialectics at the level of subconsciousness, an ancient conflict of the nature and civilization where the former has no arguments against the force of the latter, except for priority and eternity.

The pictures found by Vladimir prove just once again that the bathers cannot be destroyed, as the nature itself. These women, passing from century to century, change their form, but not the contents. They are free in demonstration of their internal essence at that thin level, which never becomes a synonym of permissiveness. All criteria thought up by the mankind — morals, the law — recede to the background in front of naivety and innocence, beauty and grace, naturalness of these beautiful women.