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Zaharia Cusnir
Zaharia with a bunny
Zaharia Cusnir
Zaharia Cusnir

Zaharia Cusnir

Country: Moldova
Birth: 1912 | Death: 1993

Zaharia Cuşnir (1912-1993) was an amateur photographer born in Rosietici village, Floresti region, Moldova. He was photographing people within 1955-1973, and left a collection of negative films 6x6 cm, from which 3751 were discovered in his abandoned house in 2016. The photographs portray groups, landscapes, scenes from everyday life: work in the kolkhoz, weddings, funerals, national celebrations.

Life

Zaharia Cuşnir was born as the last child in the family of 16 children in Rosietici village, Soroca district. His father was a Moldovan businessman (born 1870), and his mother was of German origins (born in approx. 1870). Zaharia was born in Bessarabia, at that time part of the Russian Empire, educated in Romania (Iasi city), and after WW-II, became a USSR citizen. He went to school to the neighbouring Rogojeni village and later attended the pedagogical lyceum in Iasi, Romania. He began teaching in Rogojeni, then though he worked in kolhoz, performing works as carrying stones, digging the frozen ground, carrying loam, destroying fences, herding cows. Villagers also remember him as a blacksmith. He also built a family of 4 children with his wife, Daria.

Zaharia learned photography from his nephew, who returned from the army. The nephew was living in another village, so they decided to split the territory for the photographic activities. So, Zaharia stayed responsible for the surrounding villages: Caşunca, Rogojeni, Țâra, Ghindeşti, Roşietici, and Cenuşa.

The first pictures were taken in 1955. Zaharia was photographing mainly portraits of neighbours and then he was selling the photos. He had a bicycle, which he was usually lending to people for a photograph, as well he had a black blanket, which he was using as a background when he was taking portraits. Up to 1973, he had taken around 4000 pictures of the medium format 6x6 cm. In 1993, after he died, the house was abandoned and the pictures were stocked in a suitcase and placed in the attic.

Discovery

In spring 2016, Victor Galuşca, being a student at the Academy of Arts in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived in Rosietici village to film his documentary film for the bachelor's degree exam. He entered the abandoned house and found several negative films scattered through the trash all around the floor. Victor inquired from the villagers whose house was it and found the daughter of Zaharia Cusnir, living in the neighbourhood. With her permission, within several days, he picked all of them, and together with his photography professor, Nicolae Pojoga started the cleaning and indexing process of the archive.

Among all, there were found old documents, among which was an edited request for admission to the school, adjusted to a stilted language used at the time. There was also found a table of exercises written in Russian Cyrillic script, as well as elementary calculus tests designed for primary school. Other documents and archival remnants reveal a struggle between life and death for the majority of the population; these include bread allowances and checks listing debts.

Further Development

The archive has a high resonance and was appreciated within several exhibitions: at the Museum of Art of Moldova (curated by Cervinscaia Nadejda) and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Romania in 2018, and at the Ethnographic Museum of Transilvania, the Subway Gallery of the House of Arts in Timisoara, Romania and at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore MARAMUREş from Baia Mare, Romania in 2019. In 2017 a Moldovan Publishing house Cartier published a photo album "Lumea lui Zaharia" ("Zaharia's World"). At the beginning of 2020, was launched the website and facebook page, aiming to give open access to the usage of the Zaharia Cusnir archive. The team is working on few coming exhibitions in Europe in 2020.
 

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Thomas Wrede
Germany
1963
Thomas Wrede was born in 1963 in Iserlohn (Germany). He studied Fine Art in Muenster and Berlin. From 1998 until 2005 he taught photography at the Kunstakademie Muenster. During the last few years numerous exhibitions presented his works in- and outside of Germany. Particularly, the solo exhibitions at the Museum Kunst der Westkueste, Alkersum (2010), the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2010) and at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Koeln (2007) and the following group exhibitions should be mentioned: at the National Museum for History and Art, Luxembourg (2013), the Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea (2011) and the Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2009). Since 1998 Wrede has shown his works in several galeries of the United States (New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles). Wrede's photographs have also been placed in these major art collections: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Landesmuseum Muenster, The West Collection Philadelphia, Kunst-am-Bau-projects in Berlin for the German State, UBS Zuerich & Lucerne, DZ-Bank Frankfurt. The artist won some important awards, among others the Karl-Hofer-Preis of the Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin. Thomas Wrede published all photographic series in several nice books.About Real Landscape from the Press Release by Beck & Eggeling:Thomas Wrede already counts as an established position to the Duesseldorf photography scene. His large format, quiet, but also dramatic landscape photographs fascinate in a particular way, as the observer immediately feels himself confronted with all the facets of human existence. Idyll and catastrophe, longing and debacle form the fine line of atmospheres which through Wrede's complex direction have a thought-provoking effect. Scenic cloud formations or glistening sunsets at the horizon blur the boundaries further. Point of origin of his photographic works is time and again the longing for nature. Wrede thereby utilizes in his „Real Landscapes“-series requisites from model railways, placing miniature houses and trees into real nature – at the beach, into the snow or in a nearby puddle. Yet, only a small excerpt of nature measuring at most a few steps in circumference is of concern. The observer's perception is thus set on the wrong track because in the photograph the whole setting is perceived in line with the size of the trees and houses. The illusion, generated through the inconsistencies and discrepancies of the proportions, is the result of Wrede's skilful use of his analogue plate camera with wide angle – he interferes with scales and reduces distances. A puddle thereby becomes a lake, a pile of snow turns into snowcapped mountain ranges and a few centimetres of even sand become a milelong beach.
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Vicky Martin is a fine art photographer based in the UK. She won the 1st place for the All About Photo Magazine #5 Colors with her work "Not in Kansas". We asked her a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Schapiro
An activist as well as documentarian, Steve Schapiro covered many stories related the Civil Rights movement as well as more than 200 films. Now available in a popular edition by Taschen, "The Fire Next Time" with James Baldwin's frank account of the black experience and Schapiro's vital images, the book offers poetic and potent testimony to one of the most important struggles of American society. Coinciding with the release of Schapiro's new photo book, we asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Graeme Williams
Graeme William's work on South Africa is acclaimed worldwide and has been published on the cover of Time magazine twice as well as published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern... to name just a few. But for the last five years he shifted his attention from South Africa to the United States. We asked him a few questions about his new project "America Revisited"
Exclusive Interview with Trevor Cole
Irish photographer Trevor Cole, travelled the world to capture its different cultures and landscapes. His beautiful images reflect a spatial and temporal journey through life and convey a need to live in a more sustainable world. He explains " I seek the moment and the light in whatever context I find myself and endeavour to use my photographic acumen to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
Exclusive Interview with Lorenzo Formicola
Lorenzo Formicola is a talented Italian photographer based in Los Angeles, California. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Emmanuel Monzon
Emmanuel Monzon is a talented French photographer and visual artist based in Seattle, WA. We discovered his work through All About Photo Awards and AAP Magazine. In his project "Urban Sprawl Emptiness" he photographs the in-between state found in the American landscape. You can currently see his project at Robert Kananaj Gallery in Toronto, CA from March 16 until May 4, 2019.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #10 PORTRAIT
$1,000 cash prizes | Winning image(s) published in AAP Magazine #10 | Extensive press coverage and global recognition