Alisa Resnik

Texts

Breaking through the glass

"Time is a jet plane, it moves so fast" and in its impetuous flight people and things rushing before our eyes are bound to hide their inner essence. Within this endless time flow we roam, craving a single moment of sincerity.

 

Photography is the way to stop a moment and have a chance to look deeper into ineffable reality, to step over this usually painful dichotomy between the subject and the object. It is the way to build the safe shelter of sensation on the quicksands of rationality, to feel at home looking from the window of a passing train.

 

Leaden-coloured sceneries, dying factories, echoed empty halls, old rooms still keeping a subtle feeling of the past, and faces, people's faces… Hurried glances, small awkward gestures, hands searching for a support, grief or harshness in the corner of an eye – they're all like birds ready to flutter out of their nests in search of your sympathy, to break through the glass of loneliness.

These images materialize into projections of your memories and start living their own lives. They tell the stories for you, the stories you might think you've seen with your own eyes. They combine colour and shape with your dreams and feelings, becoming part of you, and you're sentenced to return to them again and again.

 

So you roam over the world looking for the moments you could stop and turn into the act of perception, looking for a revelation, looking for a mirror… Always looking for a mirror…

Alisa Resnik/ Kirill Alexeyev

Text Laura Serani

 

ICI LA NUIT EST IMMENSE proclaims , in big red letters, the  ‘42 h du loup’  painting by Sarkis.  An intriguing oxymoron, sounding either like a promise or a threat. 

One Another could be the story of a single and endless nuit, linking Berlin to Saint –Petersbourg. 

An endless night with no dawn , stretching over deserted towns and sliding into interiors with worn-out carpets and benches, and  where, against a backdrop of faded curtains and wallpaper, people pass by or pose in front of and for Alisa Resnik. 

Sometimes in a state of wild abandon, sometimes defiant or ignoring the camera, these protagonists seem to be acting in a play combining  familiar themes and a crime thriller.  A succession of solitary people, with disfigured faces, washed-out bodies, alone or wrapped in an embrace, balancing over an abyss or frozen in a nightmare where the ninth door could open any moment. 

Alisa Resnik photographs life and its reflection, fragility, grace, melancholy and solitude. 

Out of a troubling and anguished universe she constructs an image where above all one feels her profound empathy for the people and places she photographs. 

Playing with darkness and dusk,  she recreates the red curtain atmosphere of an old local theatre, or the environment of a David Lynch film. Empty bars and hotel corridors, disused factories, houses that seem empty yet whose windows are lit up, trees covered with snow or decorations, all these break up or punctuate her procession of portraits.  Her clear and precise images transcend the habitual out-of-focus style, achieving  a strange and poetic vision. 

The world of Alisa Resnik has built up over time and resonates with her travels and encounters : between East and West, between before and after the fall of the Berlin wall, through workshop experiences with Antoine d’Agata and Anders Petersen, or Giorgia Fiorio’s masterclass, as well as through her study of classical Italian painting. 

Alisa Resnik’s  palette of colors is a dark one, deep reds and greens which absorb the rare light and remind one of the tragic tones of Caravaggio. 

Her damned are reminiscent of d’Agata’s descent to hell, her night scenes those of Anders Petersen’s Café Lehmnitz in Hamburg, with the drunks, sailors and prostitutes, but, over and above these references , the most important aspect of Alisa Resnik’s work is her haunting  photographic style, with its tender and fusionnel approach to her subject matter. 

One, Another resembles the portrait of  a huis clos which in fact reassures and protects more than it troubles. Or at least a family portrait, whose members  perhaps squabble a little ….but where there is still an element of fondness. 

 

Laura Serani/ Curator