About Fyodor

Fyodor Arsenyevich Moon was born in carpaty region, Ukraine, in 1957. He was a lecturer of dialectical materialism in Kiev. In 1990 amidst the turmoil of perestroika he quit his job and left Ukraine. 1991 – 1993 he studied at the „Hawarden True Amateur Photoschool“ (TRAP) in Hawarden, UK.

Fyodor in Leningrad, Spring 1980

Shortly after he disappeared, leaving family and friends eight weeks without notice. Eventually he returned with four films of what he called „trance photographies“.

The other night when we sat together drinking vodka, eating salo and pickles, he explained his „technique“ of „trance photography“:

As a boy he had made a small experience of utmost importance: He had looked through a window of a demolished monastry in his neighbourhood. And through the stained glass his mom’s meadow and the garden with the juniper bush and the forest in the background looked like fairyland, as if he had never been there. And this exactly, Fyodor said that evening, is what I want to show in my pictures. Common places as if you’ve never been there or as if they are from someone else’s dream.

Meanwhile he uses a digital child’s toy camera. But anyways it’s not the camera it’s the photographer, as Agnes Dodgson his teacher at TRAP put it. The important thing to Fyodor is the state of mind. Go where anybody goes, but go alone, go at dusk, or in rain, fog is the best, or on christmas eve. And go far, until you’re tired and cold, then keep on going. Always keep looking through the camera, don’t mind if you stumble around like an idiot, the world you’re looking for is in the camera, only there. „Trance“ means to do things you’re skilled in, forgetting about them. Like a football player performing an overhead kick: If he would think about it he’d never hit the ball.

Once, he recounted, he had lost his way on a heath. It was freezing, he had no gloves but he didn’t notice until his fingers were frozen stiff, so that he was hardly able to grab the camera and could push the shutter release only with the ball of his thumb. Like Django, he said, at the showdown, after they’ve broken his hands.

Anyways „going astray“ as he puts it became a habit to Fyodor. And each time he brings back a rich harvest of his „trance photographies“. By and by amounting to a world of its own. The world according to Fyodor Moon.

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