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The series is based on the idea to look at the famous literary work from an unorthodox perspective and show the content with the help of visual images. In Vladimir’s view the asexuality of the characters allows, within the given photographic project, to use a “transvestitism approach” with females portraying males. The task was to use a natural female refinement of the heroines.
Chronologically-wise the Chekhov’s characters find themselves in the 1920’s and the 1930’s when the very notion “style” was most graphic and fitting.
The retro-styling approach used in the series makes the photos both expressive and melancholic at the same time. With all his inherent theatricality and nostalgia the artist puts his post-modernistic compositions in the atmospheres of the years past reproducing long-gone motifs. He shows reality against the background of a “theatrical universe”. Grace Glueck, a prominent art critic for the New York Times newspaper, wrote that Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnyov’s large-scale photos look intriguing and, among other things, the photos have something really theatrical about them as if inspired by the system initiated by the Russian theatrical director of the early 20th century Konstantin Stanislavsky.
In a subject called Temptation, the rather spoilt servant Yasha in the role of a tempter portrays a so-called new Russian. The character is expressive and cynical; he is aloof, kind of cheeky and self-satisfied individual quick to elbow old-timers.
A tragic theme of old age, helplessness and eventual death of a servant named Firse is solved in the form of diptych with a little girl sitting alone in the corner of a huge empty room.
The image of land-owning lady Ranevskaya was quite logically portrayed by Renata Litvinova, an actress, script-writer and film director who had played the same role in the Moscow Art Theater. Unlike Yasha, Ranevskaya is embodiment of an absolute female style, sensuality and intelligence.
Each photo created by Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnyov can be perceived as romantic work of art which exists on its own; on the other hand his works possess an analytical significance seen in multiple layers and references. Such versatile presentation of the ambient world is not accidental. It creates a definite constructive combination of nostalgic irony and post-modernistic description of the world.