UNTITLED by Marat Dilman

By in Series on 3. December 2018

Marat Dilman is young, yet, promising contemporary photographer from Almaty, Kazakhstan. His recognizable and elegant body of work includes such aspects like national identity of Post Soviet Kazakhstan, a construction of new visual language that ideology uses to interact with the society, technological impact on archaical or semi-archaical symbolism like ornaments, and portraits in connection to internet cables, pop culture and, of course, beauty.

The combination of all those elements bring together a complex stylistic that successfully balances on edges between local political and aesthetical problematic as well as Dilman`s ability to frame it within a clear and readable massage. All works are nearly minimal, with the minimal usage of vivid colors that give birth to quite vivid meanings that the artist incorporates to the photographs. It is sometimes humorous, however, always serious what a gifted eye of Dilman depicts and crops out of the everyday reality: ads, hallways, brands, pills, security cameras or presence of nature in the heavily urbanized environment. Dilman`s anti-utopia has no pessimistic qualities. The reality is observed and reflected upon without much of edifying. With his artworks he creates a certain lens that disallows the viewer to look at certain commonly used symbols from a proper ironic perspective. It leads to the opportunity to question things and deconstruct the common visual vocabulary from a distant more objective perspective. I would call it visual ready mades of Dilman. In addition it is important to note that the artworks are not only strong in their conceptual sense, but what is also important in their visual qualities. Dilman is a perfectionist and each picture is a new discovery for him. He treats those artworks not as a photography, but rather as a Renaissance paintings with a lot of preparations, lighting, subject matter and a post production involved. Deeply pleasing and smart in its core the photographs resonate with local cultural contexts and already historical photographers of the international art community such as Ren Hang, Wolfgang Tillmans, Guy Bourdin, Juergen Teller and his Ukrainian mate Sasha Kurmaz. I also see an influence of mid 70s-80s art scene of New York with cartoons by Ralph Bakshi and the general vibrations of post punk transparent playful reality. 

Vladislav Sludskiy – Independent Curator

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