A series of new drawings, a video and a sculptural installation will also be exhibited. Imbedded within social reality, Chernyshevaʼs photographs carry nonetheless a lyricism and beauty that tacitly transforms the ordinary scenes and sights of and around Moscow into the extraordinary, and at times, seemingly miraculous.
Uncomplicated methods achieve this, such as the framing and setting of an architectural detail or horizon (her skies are frequently both expansive and expressive), the play of light and shadow, or the unexpected emphasis upon a particular texture or form: all are used to give a slightly off-beat result, and one that becomes loaded with a meaning beyond that which is normally expected of what is ostensibly documentary photography.
Chernyshevaʼs work frequently expresses a social interest in relation to how her country is changing. For instance, in her Moscow Area series she might highlight those things frequently relegated to the edges of society and consciousness, such as a group of elderly people in a home, an old lady entering a church to pray, or the queues of people entering and exiting the Moscow underground metro system. Likewise, monuments from the time of Communism are explored in the Alley of Cosmonauts series in terms of their intended meaning as symbols of power and the advancement of the Communist state, versus their current semi-ruinous condition – in what also seems to be either a muddy and disorganized building site – as remnants of a previous civilization, dotted amongst a new society growing around them.
Whilst one can frequently read disillusionment, loss and isolation in Chernyshevaʼs images, one also sees signs of life and renewal, perseverance and warmth in what they depict. Her films and photographs transcend their documentary function, investigating instead the very fabric of the individuality, stoicism and self-sufficiency of the Russian character, meditating at the same time on the role of the artist in a time of change.