Odessa 1985 by Victor Ratushny
We bring to your attention the photo series “Odessa. Photos of 1985” by the Ukrainian street and documentary photographer, member of the creative union “NoGa”, Viktor Ratushny.
The photographer’s Odessa theme was born thanks to the Orvochrom slide film. This period lasted one year. The young 33-year-old photographer, often exalted in the eyes of others, but in fact existential in himself, in January 1985 charges the film and during the year exists alone with his favorite city: the city of childhood, adolescence and youth.
“The pristine shores of the Big Fountain were filling my soul with something inexpressible, and after long journeys they were bringing me back. Thunderstorms would erase the beach trails and change the landscape until it was unrecognizable. Airy floating castles of panorama lovers and dilapidated constructions of fishermen inevitably slid down. Nothing is permanent on this earth – this was the first lesson I learned. Back then I photographed still life of autumn shipwrecks, backyards and picturesque roofs of my beloved Odessa. From this slide film began my venture into photography.”
“Accessibility of yards and roofs raised the pulse and brought to life the “Form”. When the only safety was rope and chimneys, which have never failed me. I showed this series of slides for the first time at the photo club. Such reflection of reality wasn’t taken very well, so I embarked on a long journey. With just a single suitcase, leaving everything else behind, at the age of 37 I arrived to America, The Land of the Free. In reality she ended up being an expert pretender, my September 11 series was rejected as anti-American. The fact is, nobody is interested in the truth, it’s inconvenient, and it’s asking too many questions. But the paths of India and Athos has merged in me without contradictions. So it is possible, when no politics are involved. “
Photography is just Photography, and even though I dedicated to it most of my life, in the end I will have to give it up as well. High quality hand-made prints that express poetry and esthetics is what remains. All is well, the most important was achieved!Viktor Ratushny
Mythical paths of the Big Fountain have brought together all of my journeys into one, and all of them are linked by the intent to see the genuine truth. Otherwise what’s the point?Viktor Ratushny
Victor Ratushny (1952 – 2020) – Ukrainian documentary and street photographer. He was probably born in Vinnytsia region. In 1954, the parents moved to Odessa. In 1968-72, he studied at the Odessa Technical School. In 1975-84, he worked in the Odessa Film Studio as the second cinematographer of feature films. In 1984-89, he worked as a photographer in the book publishing house “Mayak”.
In 1989, he moved to New York, USA. From 1994 to 1995, under the direction of Philip Jones Griffiths, he worked as a freelance photographer with the New York branch of Magnum Photos. In 1995-98, he worked as a freelance photographer with Motion Picture Services. In 2002, he returned to Odessa. He travelled a lot and worked on his own photographic projects around the world. Since 2015, a member of the creative union “NoGa”.
Noga Creative Union was founded on December 12, 2005, to serve as a professional association of documentary photographers. At the present time there are 12 active members in the alliance.
The purpose of this union is to collect photographic stories, taken in different parts of the world, while preserving the right of each author to express personal vision on any of the chosen topics.
Activity of this group is focused on research, archival and bearing witness to the events and their causes, while at the same time paying special attention to high aesthetic and informative quality of the imagery. Additionally, this collaboration promotes exchange of ideas, opinions, and personal view points between photographers.
Existence of this union is not limited to distribution of its news in the virtual world. It extends to the wide range of regional and worldwide events in the form of personal or group exhibits.