Art an der Grenze with: Roman Boichuk
It is impossible to imagine Frankfurt's cultural landscape without Art an der Grenze. Because of the Corona pandemic, the festival had to be rescheduled this year: until 30th november, 2020, the works of the artists can be seen in the shop window at Kleine Oderstraße 5. Two Viadrina students are exhibiting their works, too: Sasha Bels and Roman Boichuk. We introduce the two of them to you.
Click here for the interview with Sasha.
Roman Boichuk started taking photographs in his free time six years ago. With his pictures, Roman casts a special perspective on Frankfurt and Słubice, but also on the places where he grew up. At the moment, the 28-year-old is studying Culture and History of Central and Eastern Europe at the Viadrina.
Hello Roman. Those who know your pictures from Art an der Grenze or Instagram know that you are very passionate about photography. When did you first become interested in photography?
It was a few years ago in Berlin. But it really took off when I started photographing the places where I grew up. I come from Moskalivka, a village in Western Ukraine, not far from the big city of Ternopil. So photography as a hobby also started from me feeling homesick. I was able to capture and archive in my pictures the places I rarely went to and people I couldn’t see that often.
You photograph mainly with analogue cameras. What is the fascinating thing about it compared to digital photography?
At the moment I mainly shoot with a Praktica MTL 5B, a camera from the 80s. I think, the analogue camera educates you. What do I mean by that? You have to focus on the essentials. For example, instead of bringing 1000 photos home from trips that you rarely look at, you only take 36 pictures home. I have each picture in my mind, but I only see the results when I return and the film is developed. There is also a certain surprise effect with it. I compare the results with my expectations. In times of digitalisation, that's an exciting thing. Because I adjust a lot of things manually on the cameras, I also have more confidence in my own work.
Which of your pictures can we see at Art an der Grenze?
I'm exhibiting my photo series "Frankfurt/Purple/Słubice" there. The idea came about rather by chance thanks to my former flatmate. She brought all kinds of things into the flat, whether kitchen utensils or small furniture: everything was pink and purple. So I asked myself: what would it be like if the whole city suddenly looked like that? So I started taking analogue photos with a LomoChrome Purple film. This film distorts the real colours. In addition, I chose motives that are not immediately recognisable whether they are in Frankfurt or Słubice.
In another project you cooperated with Sasha Bels, who is also exhibiting at Art an der Grenze this year. How was your collaboration?
It was a nice experience. I like her drawings a lot and we had thought about how we could work together for a long time. Then we came up with the idea of using black and white pictures of my home village in the Ukraine as a background. Sasha then added a new layer to the photos with her colours and paintings. I like the result very much!
Interview by Robert Schwaß
More information about Art an der Grenze can be found here.
More photos by Roman Boichuk can be found here.