A guide to the New East

Disjointed harmony: photographer Alexander Sedelnikov’s narrative collages

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Ever since it was first popularised by the Dadaists in the early 20th century, collage has been taken up by photographers and artists to dynamic effect. For his project Gōjū-ryū, Alexander Sedelnikov splices stock imagery from Dutch photographer Ruth Van Beek with photographs of everyday objects such as sweet wrappers. Despite their haphazard feel, a number of unifying motifs run throughout the photos — primarily, movement, texture and nature. The result is the disjointed harmony captured in the title of his project, Gōjū-ryū, Japanese for “hard-soft style”. The term refers to one of the principle styles of karate, in which students learn a combination of hard and soft techniques to overcome an opponent. “I’d like to continue working with found photos and to connect every collage series with specific styles of karate which differ in their basic ideas, philosophy of movement, touch and expression.” The themes explored here chime with Sedelnikov’s broader interest in perception, memory and time, three topics taken up in his self-published book, See You Later (2011).

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