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WAYS of the MODERN PHOTO. Clause of an outstanding Russian artist, the photographer and designer Alexander Mihajlovicha Rodchenko (1891-1956) of " the WAY of the MODERN PHOTO " for the first time has been published in magazine " New LEF " in ¹ 9 for

WAYS of the MODERN PHOTO. Clause of an outstanding Russian artist, the photographer and designer Alexander Mihajlovicha Rodchenko (1891-1956) of " the WAY of the MODERN PHOTO " for the first time has been published in magazine "New LEF" in N 9 for 1928 the Text generates under the edition: And. M. Rodchenko " Clauses. Memoirs. Autobiographical a note. Letters ". . " Owls. The artist ", 1982, p. 105-109. Illustrations of the original journal edition did not manage to be found.
  
 

Dear Kushner!

You have mentioned an interesting question on points from below upwards and from top to down which I am obliged to answer in view of "addition" to me of these points, speaking "competent" language of magazine Soviet photo. I really supporter of these points before all others and that is why.

Take history of arts or history of painting of all countries, and you will see, that all pictures, behind an insignificant exception, are written either from a navel or from level of eyes.

Seeming impression of primitive things and icons do not accept for a point from the bird's flight. It the horizon for many figures is simply lifted; but each of them is taken from level of eyes. All as a whole mismatches neither the validity, nor a point from the bird's flight.

Despite a seeming sight from above, each figure has correct and a profile. Only they are placed one over another, instead of one for another, as with realists.

The same and at Chineses. However, they have one plus are the every possible inclinations of object taken during the moments movements (foreshortenings), but a point of supervision always at middle level.

See the magazines illustrated by photos for old years - you will see the same. Only for last years you will sometimes meet other film-making points. I underline - sometimes - so few these new points. I buy many foreign magazines and I collect pictures, but such photos at me have collected only ten three.

Behind this menacing cliche prejudiced routine education of human visual perception and an one-sided distortion of visual thought is covered.

How there was a history of picturesque inventions? At first desire to represent that left as live, like Vereschagin's pictures or at which portraits got out of frames, and skin pores have been written out. But for it, instead of a praise, abused the photographer.

The second way - individually-psychological understanding of the world. At Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens etc. In pictures the same type is differently represented. At Leonardo da Vinci - , at Rubens - his wife.

The third way - airs and graces: painting for the sake of painting: Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Marriage. And last way - abstraction, pointlessness when interest to a thing remained almost scientific. A composition, the invoice, space, weight, etc.

And ways of searches of points, prospects, foreshortenings remained absolutely not used. It would Seem, painting is terminated. But if, according to , it has not come to an end yet then in questions of the points of view is not engaged.

New fast real the world - the photo at its possibilities, apparently, should be engaged the world from all points, bring up ability to see from different directions. But here the mentality a navel from painting falls with century authoritativeness upon the modern photographer and learns its infinite articles in magazines on photos like the Soviet photo - photoculture Ways, giving to photographers as samples oil pictures with the image and countesses.

What Soviet photographer and the reporter if its visual thought is hammered by authorities of world art on compositions of archangels, Christ's and lords will be?

When I have started to be engaged in a photo, having thrown painting, I did not know then, that painting has imposed the heavy hand on a photo.

Whether it is clear to you now, what the most interesting points of a modern photo from top to down or from below upwards and all others, except points from a navel? And the photographer was far away from painting.

It is difficult to me to write, at me thinking visual, at me separate pieces of thought turn out. But after all anybody about it does not write, there are no articles about a photo, about its problems and successes. Even the left photographers, like Are nude, write individual articles As I work, My way, etc. Editors of photomagazines about photo ways invite to write artists and spend a languid official line in service and the picture story. As a result press photographers cease to give photos in photomagazine, and the photomagazine becomes any the art World.

The letter in magazine Soviet photo about 2 - the phenomenon not simply silly slander. It some kind of a shell beating on a new photo. It has for an object, discrediting me to intimidate the photographers who were engaged in new points.

The Soviet photo in person Mikulina declares to young photographers, that they work under , not accepting that their new photos.

But to show nevertheless the , magazines place one-two picture of new foreign workers, the truth, by unsigned the author and instructions, whence is taken. But we will return to the basic question.

Modern city with its many-storeyed houses, special constructions of factories, factories, etc., two-three-storyed show-windows, a tram, , light and spatial advertising, ocean steamships, airplanes, all that you so have remarkably described in the 103 days in the West, - all it has necessarily shifted, the truth, a little, habitual mentality of visual perceptions.

It would seem, that only the camera in a condition to display a modern life.

But... Antediluvian laws of visual thinking recognised a photo only as any lowest step of painting, an etching and an engraving with their reactionary prospects. Will of this tradition the 68-storeyed house of America acts in film from its navel. But this navel is on 34th floor. Therefore climb on the next house and from 34th floor remove the 68-storeyed giant.

And if next is not present, by means of a retouch achieve this front, projected kind (the photo see p. 33 3 of an album "New York").

Buildings which, passing along the street, you see from below upwards, street with scurrying about and the pedestrians, considered by you from the top floors: everything, that you catch a sight from a tram window, , that sitting in an audience, at theatre, you see from top to down, - all transform it, straightening in a classical kind from a navel.

Looking at "Uncle Vanju" from gallery, that is from top to down, the spectator, however, transforms the visible. Before it "Uncle Vanja" costs as live from its middle point. I remember, in Paris when I the first time has seen a tower have published, it at all was not pleasant to me. But once I close passed by the bus and when in a window has seen leaving upwards, to the right and to the left iron lines, these points have given me impression of a file and a design which from a navel gives only gentle stain so bothered on all cards.

That there is a review of any factory if to look at it have published from a middle point examining in detail - inside, from top to down and from below upwards.

The camera has been adapted for not deforming prospect even then when it is actually deformed.

If the street narrow also is no place to depart, by "rules" it is necessary to lift a forward board with an objective, it is necessary to give an inclination to a back board and . L. Etc. All because of "correct" designing prospect.

Only recently, and that in so-called amateur devices, began to apply objectives.

Millions sample photos with only one difference float: one more or less more successfully another or one works under an etching, others - under the Japanese engraving, the third - under "Rembrandt".

Landscapes, heads and the bared women are called as an art photo, and pictures of current events - the picture story.

And the picture story is considered in a photo something the lowest.

But this applied and the lowest owing to a competition of magazines and newspapers, owing to live and necessary work when it is necessary to remove by all means, at any illumination and the points of view, and has done revolution in a photo.

New struggle - a pure photo with an applied, art photo, with the picture story is available.

Not all is safe in the picture story. Here again the cliche and false realism has spread out workers of this present business. On club picnic - I saw - reporters began suit performances of dances and picturesque groups on a hill.

It is interesting, as maidens, hurrying up in picturesque group, hid in a car body to brush the hair and .

Go to act in film!

Not the photographer goes with the device to object, and the object goes to the device and the photographer establishes it in a pose on picturesque canons.

Here pictures from magazine "Coral" 4 is a chronicle, it is ethnography, it is the document. And after all all pose. And after all one minute prior to arrival of the photographer these people did any business and were on the places.

Imagine, what points at a photo if the photographer removes them unexpectedly, unawares would appear? But after all to remove unawares it is difficult, and on system it is easy and simple. And any misunderstanding with the consumer.

You meet in magazines pictures of small animals, the insects, taken largely, it is more than full size. But also here not the photographer goes to them with the device, and them bring to the device.

Search for new objects for shooting, but remove by old traditions. And mosquitoes will be removed by the photographer from a navel and on a canon Repin.

But there is a possibility to show object from such points from which we look, but do not see. I do not speak about ordinary things which it is possible to show absolutely extraordinary.

You write, that pictures of Shuhovsky tower and are bad, that they are more similar to a basket for bread, than on really remarkable construction.

I absolutely agree, but... Any point it is possible to spoil the valid representation if the object is new and will not develop before you.

Here an error only at , but not at . Picture is only one of shots it from different points of a tower, and at cinema at it these points in movement; the device spins also clouds pass over a tower.

The Soviet photo speaks about "photopicture", as about something closed and eternal.

On the contrary. It is necessary to give from object some different photos from different points and positions, as though it, instead of to spy in one keyhole. Not to do photopictures, and to do the photomoments documentary, instead of art value.

I summarise: to accustom the person to see from new points, it is necessary to remove ordinary subjects well familiar to it from absolutely unexpected points and in unexpected positions, and new objects to remove from different points, giving full representation about object.

In summary I place some photos for an illustration of my statements. Pictures of the same house are taken purposely.

The first are taken from the American album "America". They are removed most by image. Them to make it was difficult, as stirred the next buildings that is why them have added.

It that is accepted. So imagine America and Americans and the Europeans who have been brought up on laws of correct prospect.

It that actually it is impossible to see in any way.

The second pictures from the same buildings - German left architect Mendelson. It removed fairly as the ordinary person from street could see these buildings.

Here still the fire. A point the most real. So you can see it from a window. But as it amazes. And it is possible, similar we often look, but we do not see.

We do not see that we look.

We do not see remarkable prospects-foreshortenings and positions of objects.

We, accustomed to see habitual and imparted, should open the world of the visible. We should revolutionise our visual thinking.

We should remove from eyes a veil named - from a navel.

Remove from all points, except "navel", all points will not be recognised yet.

And the most interesting points of the present are points from top to down and from below upwards and their diagonals.

Alexander Rodchenko. 1928, on August, 28th


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