artists Kuzma Vostrikov and Ajuan Song, aka Kuzma & Ajuan.
In previous interviews, you state that you’re not surrealists because you aren’t examining the subconscious. However, your style is pretty much influenced by this 20th-century movement, even if just visually – at least, I see some references to Magritte, for example. If not surrealist, how would you like your work to be perceived and described? How do you define it yourselves?
We’ll answer very simply: An Introduction to Metaphysics. Or, if it suits, even Being and Time. We’re the Heideggers of photography. We’re photo-existentialists practising anthropological symbolism, if you will. Existential truth has to be lived, it can’t be proven. That’s Søren Kierkegaard. Existentialism is the formal way into our labyrinths, so to speak – the entry ticket. A necessary but not sufficient condition.
Going on: Magritte is the simplest detail that has jumped out at you. Because the rest of the details lies behind that first page. Bergman, Tarkovsky, Fellini, the film Amarcord, Jarmusch to some degree or another – they show through our photographs and sneak along behind us. Go ahead, x-ray the paper we print on. That, and the authors themselves are, as it were, located outside of photography. Their rocket lifts off from its surface and flies into outer space. Visually, you could find Botero and Picasso and Cézanne and Warhol, and maybe others.