«You can't see this»

This project by an artist Helene Vasileva and a photographer and documentary filmmaker Helen Mayorova is a research on how the censorship set in Russia as well as in other countries in the current epoch of "fake news" and post-truth affects art and its audience.

The basis for the collaboration is a series of photographs Mayorova took on August 5 and 6, 2017, in Brighton, South of the UK, during an annual LGBT Pride event. Using various artistic techniques authors try to adapt photo shots for the safe display in the country where art is subject to so called law against "gay propaganda" and law protecting religious peoples` feelings. Thus authors take images out the common political context, deprive them of the general story line and extract from figurative art scheme.

La Manche landscapes are filled with seagulls and sunbeds looking like screensavers leaving out current social problems of the Western society that are not much accepted for discussion in Russia.

Mayorova cuts and edits real life photographs leaving out everything that may pop up a question or seem inappropriate or incomprehensible just like a fashion-photography retoucher changes his models beyond recognition .

Vasileva achieves the same hiding effect using Gerhard Richter-inspired broad stokes of paint, colorful mosaics and Skittles candies overlaying photographed faces of the guests of the festival.

Artists seem to try to protect the audience from collision with something unexpectable, unsuitable for the art gallery where one is supposed to feel mentally relaxed and aesthetically satisfied.

Is the audience ready to find out what has become the basics for collages and was omitted by the eye of the photographer? Are original shots unusual or extravagant or shocking or interesting at all? The times of social networking when everyone can filter out his life and label it with shiny stickers are turning everyone into strict censors of the reality.

Initiating this self-censoring project two artists take path leading to eternal questions on interaction between art and politics, a place of the spectator in the artistic process and on artist's mission in general.