In 2000, at the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan was established the association of photo-artists, and on January 2002, at the Center of Modern Art was opened the Tashkent House of Photograph, which has already held a number of photo exhibitions. These are stages of growing attention to photograph from the state and public structures realizing the role of this rather young, from the point of history, art in the life of society.
On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic was held the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition and were announced the results of the com-petition “Tashkent – My Beloved City”.
The representatives of city Khokimiyat, which became a general sponsor, and the chairman of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, Tursunali Kuziev pointed out that Tash-kent was and stays the city allying the people of different cultures. It is logic that grand-prize was awarded to the cycle of photos made by Sergey Karandaev tens years ago nearby famous fountain in front of the Navoy Theatre, where in the “pre-aircon” epoch the Tashkentians came to enjoy cool air. This exhibition became the fourth or fifth in a line of vernissages organized by the Tashkent House of Photograph.
The chairman of the photo-artists association, Umida Ahmedova was kind to share her ideas with us. She told:”Establishment of the House of Photograph was a long-awaited event for all photo artists in Tashkent. I hope it will be a real temple for them. In Uzbekistan there are masters of international level. But each of us needs the support, the intercommu-nications with foreign photo artists. Therefore, the competitions play very important role, the artist can estimate himself in comparison with others, and the exhibitions promote new people to turn to the professional art photo.
If to say on problems, they are connected, first of all, with financial and economic aspects. All over the world photo exhibitions and competitions are sponsored by companies manufacturing photo equipment and photo materials. And they not need to be within the country. The dealers interested in the sale of their products are enough. Tashkent is lack of them. Those, which are working, for example, “Kodak”, are aiming to ordinary photo; as for professional photo facilities and materials they don’t offer them. At the result we have some paradox. On the one hand, in the republic there are high-skilled masters, on the other hand, local customers of advertising photo don’t know about actual cost required to reach really good results. Looking through foreign journals, they think that can have the same high quality but they don’t want to pay properly. But the art of photo today depends both on technical equipment and skills of photo artist.
Advertising business is a great stimulus for the development of photograph. Photo life still, genre photo and reportage photo can have expressive advertising effect. Profes-sionalism in advertising is very important but our photo artists have not occupied proper place there. This affects on the quality of advertising and, at the same time, on the financial status of photographers who don’t allow to low standards of their art”. Photo artists of Uzbekistan actually have things in the history and modern life to reflect.
Exhibitions, held by the House of Photograph during the last half of the year, “Photo Artists of Uzbekistan – 2002″, personal exhibition of Victor An “To wait arrival” who re-cently visited Japan, vernissage “Poetry of Light and Shadow” and presentation of the al-bum of the same title, exhibition of Moldavian photographer Valeryi Volontir give evidence for professional level of photo art in Tashkent is high enough. And it’s logic that Umida Ahmedova – a leading photo artist of Uzbekistan, the first Uzbek camera-woman, began to talk about professional problems.
Fifteen years ago the famous film producer Peter Broock visited Tashkent and everybody who had any touch to theatre and cinema gathered to listen to the Master. And he started immediately to speak about craft. About those notorious and eternal (symbol of craft!) pots, which the master is modeling and kilning and the apprentice, having reasons to be afraid of next cuff, is spying upon him, penetrating the secrets. When recently at the lecture hall of the Sergey Esenin’s Museum was held the ex-hibition of outstanding photo artist Luidji Giri, one of the 20 best photographers of the XX c., its Italian organizers were surprised when got known that in Uzbekistan the people differ the art of photo and ordinary photograph. In Italy, as in the other advanced countries, the speciality of photo is included in the course of almost all famous universities, but only a person who can “spy” upon others, good artists, and, probably, upon God, is able to reach the art of photo and, may be, to achieve its top.
I was glad to hear from the director of the House of Photograph, Shahnoza Khod-jaeva that in a few days are starting 3-month fee-paying courses for photographers. It’s a pity to realize that unlike foreign countries only within the service system is possible to get the speciality of photographer. And now such masters as Vladimir Sokolov, Constantine Minaichenko, Umida Ahmedova and others can teach the foundations of art photo. The statements on the courses and the program have been already prepared. May be, this ini-tiative will promote that in future the National Institute of Arts and Design of K.Behzad and National University of Uzbekistan will include faculties of art photo in their structure.
The nearest international photo competition – “Our Dear Old”. The photo artists from France, Ukraine, Moldova and Uzbekistan have already given their works. The competition is finishing in December 2002. The jury is including foreign photo masters and our local photo artists. The House of Photograph is planning to form library on the history of domestic and foreign photo art, collection of old and modern photo, competitions, galleries and many, many other actions. Sh.Khodjaeva shared her devout wish – to issue the journal “The World of Camera”. In creative and art aspect this project is realistic enough – in Tashkent there are many photo artists and designers, themes of discussions are existing too. Perspectives are real.
I think, nameless Muse of Photograph, coming to our country almost one and a half century ago together with tireless enthusiasts carrying heavy equipment and chemical ma-terials over thousands kilometers to fix monuments of ancient architecture and expressive characters of local people for future generations, never regretted about her travel. And now she lives in the House beside the park. At the place where the Center of Modern Art is. In the Tashkent House of Photograph.
Author: Yuriy Podporenko