learning to unsee

Learning to Unsee Mihail Novakov 04.11 – 30.11 Mihail Novakov’s photographic approach carries signifiers and elements of commercial photography - with its bright colours, hard shadows and usage of flash. The aesthetic of the images carry and sell feelings and desires. The advertising industry has borrowed from different styles and movements across art history to serve a primarily capitalist function. Novakov inverts this phenomenon and applies his skill in commercial projects to his artistic practice, documenting the peculiar moments of everyday reality. Dissecting them through the critical lens of his camera, the objects he photographs are stripped down from their utility and are transformed into fetishised, kitschy versions of themselves. As viewers, looking at these highly stylised images it becomes hard to distinguish whether what we see before us is genuine or staged, whether it is reality or a simulation. In a humorous and witty way, the artist makes us question the role of photography in constructing the images that shape our reality, guiding us to unsee, only to be able to see anew.