Every morning, every day in our family began with photographs in the literal sense of the word. They were everywhere: on the table, chairs, windowsills, shelves, vases, on the floor, on ropes in the middle of the rooms - in places, according to the father's mistaken opinion, hard to reach and therefore forbidden for us. The most unexpected object of the house that revived in the morning and until late in the evening was buzzing with bustle was "crowned" with a saint and tabooed-father's photo, printed at night, when we all - children of the team of minifootball - slept soundly. Now the pictures had to lie down and dry, and we should not interfere with this process. There were so many of them that, while we reached the washstand, we were able to make out a detailed picture of some building or meeting of the party members. For someone, Life in Photos is a formula of existence in art, for me it was a poem literally understood by the category. I was really surrounded by a photograph of childhood, talking about her: meetings with my father's fellow-friends Borei Kudoyarov. Georgi Zelma, Sirotkin and Glauberson. "
These words belong to Dina Khodjaeva, nee Penson, the first professional women photographer in Uzbekistan. its instrument - a camera - which created a photographic record of the republic in the 1950s-1980s. It sounds like a solemn panegyric to the past pre-capitalist era, construction time and cotton victorious relations. However, the pathos of this statement is not contrived, it stems from the real historical logic of the country's development.
"The first photographer" of the Central Asian region of the USSR.We reject the gender implication in this formulation, armed with knowledge of the struggle and achievements of feminist movements throughout the world, yet we will not forget the special path of the East to the universal values in the past XX century.Her father - the great Max Penson - still in the 30's they were anathematized and thrown stones for harmless attempts to make photo portraits of Uzbek women without burqa, let alone feeding their babies with Muslim Muslims.) The leap in development is weight It's a painful factor, and not always justified: "A woman is a camel that must carry a man through the desert of life" - the phrase of eastern husbands, to this day determining the place and position of women in the social hierarchy. the hands of a free and independent person (and even in trousers, if you like - this is not just an attack, but a challenge to a conservative Islamized society.) Developed socialism does not count, it is one thing - the report of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan on emancipation and free labor Women, and the other - the purity of reality with its traditions and exhausting conventions, and often obscurantism.
Dina Khodjaeva knew about photography all already when her peers were taught at school the multiplication table or the mystery of the behavior of the insidious bisector. The granite of photographic science was not easy to give - it was not a lecture by a venerable photojournalist to his children in the family circle. "When I asked my father to show me how best to use the device in this or that case, I received a sharp rebuke in my address: guess yourself." At the same time, but somehow (obviously, the fee arrived in time) the device was given to the pope, and it was a gift for life, there is no need for another. And it was also natural, as if in the shoemaker's family the child was given new shoes. True, this would not lead to the conclusion that the next-generation shoemaker was born in the family. And Dina did not immediately realize herself entitled to try herself in the field of the photographer - this is not taught anywhere, they do not give such a diploma. But knowledge is power, and skill is experience. When Max Zakharovich was hacked "hack-work", all four - two boys and two girls - selflessly helped his father print photos. It's not even about replenishing the family budget, which in itself is important, but in a special atmosphere of a close elbow and a loving heart. Educational effect was not slow to tell: two guys became professional photographers, they were firmly on their feet and knew what they wanted. And Dinah? Becoming a photo reporter was not part of her plans. However, meeting with one person changed if not all, then much.
It was Vsevolod Tarasevich. A brilliant master, a photobot of the postwar period. Coming from Tashkent, he often visited his homeland. Acquaintance with the daughter of the legendary Penson gradually changed from a curiosity to a serious hobby. Dean learned a lot from him, the secrets of the profession were discovered by Tarasevich "at a click". The seeds of experience, knowledge and taste fell on genetically rich soil. Photography is like painting, you can tell about secrets, share techniques, but without the innate intuitive sense of composition, the sharpness of the eye and the speed of reaction, nothing can be achieved. It is given by someone from another register, heavenly, without explaining the reasons and harassed spells. On one of the pictures-portraits of Dina adorns the inscription of the young master - "To the future master of the photo essay from Vsevolod Tarasevich. 1951, Tashkent ". In life, so often happens - a series of circumstances, meetings surprisingly changes fate, dramatically reverses the prepared plan for future events. Fayzulla Khodzhaev. one of the first graduates of VGIK in Uzbekistan, a pupil of the legendary screenwriter and director Mikhail Romm, was exactly the reason that changed the whole course of Dina Penson's life. Khodjaev, himself a brilliant personality, a documentary filmmaker and the author of numerous scripts, directed many embodied film projects, gave Dina confidence in her abilities, convinced her of the need to continue her photo experiments, gradually drawing her into her ebullient orbit.
One of the first serious trips of the outlined creative alliance "Khodjaev-Khodjaev" happened in places not so enviable. This is a huge campaign to develop solonchak soils that are not yet suitable for agricultural needs in the Golodnaya Steppe area. In the courtyard of 1957, debunked the cult, the demand and the need to divert people's resources into loud propaganda projects, away from reflections about the "lost time" and the "lost generation". The time of absolutely insane fright is to smash in the shortest possible time the "garden city" where the ground covered with an impressive salt layer has cracked the destructive craquelure. Where there is nothing more besides a camel's thorn In principle it does not grow. "If you want to eat this cake, you will not put it in the horn cents. You will break it down and then apply for food. So is the Hungry "Steppe. Immediately all of it you will not master. On the pieces you need. Patience! This is the main thing. Work patiently, and the earth will love you and generously reward you. " So, through the mouth of his hero - the Uzbek farmer Yarmat-ota - the author of the essay F.Hojayev found the necessary equivalent to what is happening, verbal. His own equivalent - the graphic, gave in this material and Dean, Essay "The road will master the going" was adopted by the editorial board of the Moscow "Ogonyok" and printed and number 45 in 1958. For authors whose age barely reached 25 years. it was a resounding success, opening the doors of film studios and editorial offices not only of republican, but of all-Union significance.
Photo selection "The Hungry Steppe" could be a logical continuation of a series of her famous father, dedicated to another grandiose event of the 20th century - the construction of the Great Fergana Canal (1939). For the photo community, who knew and loved Max Penson, it was gratifying to discover Dina's individual handwriting, not repeating the clichés and methods of many luminaries that she had known since childhood. A significant difference from the photo sessions of twenty years ago is a completely different approach of the reporter in changed conditions, albeit with similar tasks. The idea of collective creation of the 1930s, a work combining the ant elements of millions, fused into a single structure, a macroorganism, is now opposed to the powerful energy of the individual by Dina Khojaeva, an attempt to actualize a human being, personally conceived in an equally epochal coordinate system, is visible. The portraits of the excavator Yuri Varenitsyn, the machinist Ye. Vidineev, the old Yarmat-ota, are especially prominent - we see psychological images that have depth and concentration in them. They clearly have their own philosophy, their own contemplation, immanently inherent in the entire Eastern world view. The plot, when Yarmat-ota releases a white dove from its palms, at first glance, repeats the famous composition of Picasso, emblematic for that time. However, if you think that both Dina Khodjaeva's picture and Picasso's drawing appeared almost simultaneously, in 57th year, almost in parallel appearing as a kind of symbol of the renewing world, two authors in different art segments spoke with the utmost degree of humanistic frankness.
The hunger strike for Dina did not end with the surrender of the material to the editor. It had its continuation during the 1960s, often at a different level and with varying degrees of success. Endless trips to the poorly adapted areas of the republic, the elementary lack of comforts and everyday deprivations that accompanied Khodjaeva and her husband gave, however, wonderful results - poetic subjects, without which it is impossible to fully present the history of Uzbekistan today and understand the common people of the republic. A high degree of citizenship never gave rise to banality or "shabashka". And these are not empty words. There is a well-known case when our creative tandem was ordered to the millionaire collective farm with the purpose of glorifying the work and feat of its chairman, but ordering Ogonyok. The authors were given an advance, they shot a decent amount of material. The report is actually ready. And everything would be fine, but only at the finish it turned out that the grieving chairman was engaged in an unseemly affair: reporting on the fantastically high yields in his farm, he was actually engaged in postsignals, recording the harvest from unaccounted lands. Khojayevs took an uneasy but honest decision - to abandon the order, the advance, which had already been spent by that time, had to be returned urgently, climbing into "friendly" debts.
Images of Uzbek children of the Hungry Steppe are of particular interest. Dina unmistakably follows the tuning fork of feelings, her camera captures only the genuine, only the present, not a single fake or tearful emotion. There are many children, it is accepted in the families of Uzbeks, the fruits of love are not forbidden by anyone and are not limited in any way. Here kurpachi are spread out on the streets, and the teachers and the "magnificent seven" of the youngsters are spontaneously housed. Against the backdrop of a gloomy desert landscape, enriched by a local limousine - "Moskvich" chic 412 - poses a dozen guys dressed in a colorful, who is in that much. Their faces are full of delight from unprecedented fun and, holding their breath, they are subordinated to the commands of some aunt from Tashkent, similar to the actress. A family portrait "on horseback" is an amazing picture of modern civilization, made some 30-40 years ago. Naked eyes, good eyes and poetry of the innermost. It seems that such a plot could be removed and a hundred years ago, and as much forward. Very suitable for determining the mood of this photo is the formula of Milan Kundera: "unbearable lightness of being."
There is still a frame - "Me and my dad" - it strikingly resembles the films of Emir Kusturica already 90-ies, who also seeks the "truth of life" in a simple and everyday. Sometimes these searches lead to amusing situations, painted in brightly spontaneous tones, the conscious primitivization of the image creates the effect of a national buffoonery, amusing and invigorating, raising the general tone and intensity of what is happening.
In May 1961, the material of Dina and Fayzulla Khodjaevs was published in the All-Union Journal Rabotnitsa, devoted to the weekdays of the Tashkent orphanage N22. Dina's attentive eye clearly selects the most interesting moments. "Such they come" - a photo of a boy who appeared for the first time in an orphanage, with a frightened and hunted look, a face with bruises received in the battles for his independence. The most unexpected thing is that the viewer's compassion for him gradually transforms into human curiosity, I want to understand the presented mise-en-scene in development, which will follow, as peers already living here will meet it. And we see soon this "docking" - he communicates with the like guys, and the stone falls off the soul - everything is all right, there is contact. The pictures "On the Grass" and "Squeeze of Lingerie" are noteworthy compared with the samples of the picturesque and graphic suites of the Leningrad artists of the 1930s - Alexey Pakhomov and Lydia Timoshenko, aestheticizing youth and youth as a happy future for the Soviet country. Shaved children, sitting around, sing a song, perhaps a hymn. The motif of the pioneer or boycott, present at first glance, reveals a certain kinship with totalitarian articulation. "To make nails from such people" will be the next stage in the labor education of abandoned children, subject to forging according to the ideals of the socialist Motherland. These photos of half a century ago in our days cause a mixed feeling, with a radically changed country they have acquired a different semantic coloring. This is one of the rare examples of transforming the meaning of photography, regardless of the will of the author, who wanted to express something else.
In 1972, Dina Khojaeva went on a trip to European capitals. Paris, Rome, London, Copenhagen is a kaleidoscope of cities that amazes the imagination of a Soviet man. Cruise in "capstrains" - the company is almost unreal, but for Dina as the air is necessary. At stake is everything, including grandmother's relics, only for one opportunity "to see Paris and die." Each shot of this series is very important for understanding the method of not photographing a tourist, but a traveling photo artist.
My most favorite subject is a successfully framed meeting at Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence of two groups of women: Uzbek travelers and nuns of the Catholic community. The black and white space of the leaf gives a sensation of full-fledged colors, evoking from memory the catchy inflorescences of the national silk "khan-atlas", in which are dressed "ours" and contrasting with snow-white attire Catholics. The meeting of two cultures, two non-coinciding worlds is indicated with an ironic implication. This light irony is the unifying principle in this multicolored combination.
Here we see the full dignity of the janitor on the streets of Paris, She has an impressive chain with a whistle in case of unforeseen circumstances. Apparently she noticed the lens aimed at her, because she so artistically took the proper pose, which confuses her colleague - the janitor, who did not understand such an instantaneous metamorphosis. In this connection, a question arises that requires clarification. A person who knows that he is being photographed will cease to be himself. Without wanting to do this, he begins to pose in front of the camera. The simplest and most effective way to achieve complete certainty is to remove unnoticed. In this case, every moment, taken off guard, will be fixed on the film by a fact. Dina did not have the opportunity either to prepare for the shooting, or to persuade the models, or to implement the principle of the "hidden camera", if only because the tour group, of which she was an organized discipline, will not tolerate the laggards behind the visit and movement plan, you will get a slander from the leaders of the group (KGB officers, as a rule, carefully tracing and "walking" fellow citizens).
Time - at a minimum, seconds, and we must do everything and show miracles of resourcefulness. It is here that you need a combination of "instantness" with penetration into the inner world of the character. I remember the story of V. Tarasevich about the creation of the famous, fallen classic, "Dmitri Shostakovich". The photographer could not film when Dmitri Dmitrievich, at the urging of photo reporters, was about to pose for a pose. Tarasevich learned about the room, and which the composer went to rest between rehearsals. He jammed the door with a sliver, so that it would not be possible to close it. And in the open door I saw the composer, who was in a state that could not be organized, as if to not strive for it.
Shooting Hadzhievoy in the streets of Paris preserved for us a kind of world of people of the turn of the 60's and 70's. Seated quinine (the breath of a symbolic 1068th year of student unrest, very close), ecstatically dancing in white clothes, a girl (compositionally this picture will later appear in the photo of the performer of the Uzbek folk "vortex" dance), boys with long French rolls at the ready, boring their eyes of the viewer (one of the best photos of this series), the family of artists in Montmartre - a subtle psychological image full of inner harmony. These and other works of Dina after 35 years, sounded another melody, revealed secret shades, devoid of ideological context. The world of the "golden calf" and money-grubbing, exploitation of workers and racial discrimination, rampant crime and social injustice appears in a completely different light. Of course, these photos were intended for a private archive, not for displays and exhibition public spaces and on pages of Russian periodicals. Especially you feel Khojaeva's genuine passion for photography in the name of eternal values.
Shooting the masters of the theater and stage of 60-70-ies also carry with them a special flair of memories of the era. Radmila Karaklaich, Galina Nenasheva, Batyr Zakirov, Biser Kirov, Gennady Khazanov, actors of the Sovremennik Theater: very young Evstigneev, Efremov. Volchek, Quantum. This list can be continued indefinitely - during the years of Dina's work on Uzbek TV, the stars were often on her "fly." Each time, their characters, shaping and defining the style and "sign", their idols, which can be followed and copied in everything. Then there was no so-called "glamorous" photo, according to Dina, the celebrities unwittingly were the source material for creating such a concept in modern photography. "A person who looks at life through the camera's eye always always looks at it in history. A person with a camera is a particle of an era, and in its own relation to one or other of its events, too, there is a particle of its air. " This famous dictum of the poet Konstantin Simonov is more characteristic of the critic analyzing the history of photography. The photographer himself rarely thinks about whether he "gets" into the story with his picture or not, whether the course of his thoughts will be understandable to others, or his unusual decision becomes obvious. He simply takes pictures of how he lives. As breathes ... This was the name of the book that Fayzulla Khodzhaev wrote - "Shoot as if to breathe." Creativity of Dina Khodjaeva is her way of communicating with the surrounding world, her secret message, her science of life.