L A Noble Photography

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Nikolai Ishchuk

Ishchuk’s images explore the aesthetics of a subject matter which is usually ignored in light of its cultural currency – and in this series, the subject matter is just that: currency.

About The Artist

Ishchuk points to money as a major abstract permeating our lives. Yet its abstract nature is deferred by established practical routines of using and thinking about it. Banknotes, as tangible representations of arbitrary value, are an exemplary embodiment of the resulting “cognitive gap.” The images are recognizable as quasi-currency, yet due to colour shifts, and size, they do not conform to the value reference system within which they would ordinarily be interpreted.

The oversized photographic Lambda prints give money the abstract treatment by turning banknotes into large detailed and colourful canvases. Thus, they become totems, objects of worship and celebration, both exploiting and subverting the cult status of money.

The images hint at an implied meaning or symbolism, but at the same time defer, if not altogether deny, many interpretational cues — both factual information (location, time) and visual information (clear focus, recognizable shapes) are complicated by Ishchuk’s treatment. For him, the work is a comment on the mutable character of money, its endless transitions to and from various imaginary states (not unlike art itself), serving, among other things, as a metaphor for boom and bust, the bubbles and the crunches.

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