Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Igor Savchenko:
conceptual series of 9 photographs
“The Invisible”,
1992 – 1994


Conceptual series of 9 photographs

Black and white analogue photography, gelatine silver print

35 mm black and white film, black and white (brome gelatine silver) fiber-based photo paper, chemical reagents

Igor Savchenko:conceptual series of 9 photographs“The Invisible”,1992 – 1994

4.94-13: “Frame #19, left unexposed, for some reason”, 1994, from “The Invisible” series, 4-94-13, 1992–1994


Igor Savchenko’s work is unique for Belarus: from the beginning of the 1990s to the present time the artist has consistently been checking, destroying and altering the photography, renouncing photography and returning to it again. His The Invisible conceptual series can be seen as a representative work for the artist, where the uncompromising rejection of the photo images in favour of narrative captions is clearly visible.

In fact, The Invisible is a series of anti-photography: fully black or white frames followed by captions of one sentence long real stories. The captions for those nine almost identical images feature a fragmented narrative, fixing the imaginary stops of the hero in situations of possible creation of the photo. They invariably picture internal conflict between the hero and the photographing process. The idea of ​​The Invisible lies in the synthesis of the two media; neither the text itself nor the picture can exist in the series separately. The nine pictures represent only one aspect of a more broad statement where the image is not an end in itself or a final product, but one of the building blocks of multidimensional message, a reflection upon the conflict of colliding with an episode of reality, the result of which is an untaken picture. One of the key meanings of the work is the convention of visible.

The Invisible series is a visual-literary experiment, a confident attempt in conceptual art, which Igor Savchenko subsequently will come to in 1997, publicly rejecting work in photography because of the inevitability of a crisis in relations with the world that “does not want to be photographed”.

The creative path of the artist is difficult to prescribe to one genre or direction. Despite the fact that his appearance on the photography scene of Belarus took place in close connection with the activities of the Minsk school of creative photography, his professional evolution took place in rather individual framework. From 1998 to 2005 Igor Savchenko creates a number of projects using text and mixed media such as video and audio. The artist makes extensive use of found photographs and archives, processing, cropping and transforming them. In the fall of 2006, after almost a ten-year break, he returns to photographic practice, radically changing his vision of photography as a medium of the capturing of reality.

Igor Savchenko (born 1962, Minsk, Belarus) – photographer, artist.

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.


Text: Olga Bubich, Sergey Shabohin, KALEKTAR ©


This is a shortened version of the text. Full article is under construction.

“The Invisible” series, 1992–1994: