Seven Stories: Arina Moiseychenko
Photographer: Arina Moiseychenko
Based in: Toronto, ON
Everything starts with a rug on a wall, some slippers and a handful of grapes. My friendship with Alessia started with pain, lots of mourning and trying to write sad teenage-boy-loving songs in her bedroom. We both wore vintage dresses covered in lilacs and roses, with white lace collars, and mourned the departure of those we never welcomed into our lives. Making a home in eyes, kitchens, parks and rugs.
While joking, my mother taught me to live in abundance, a constant state of manic, a state of endless but comforting fear. When she brought me and our two suitcases, to Canada the winter of 2010, it was almost like we were laying together on a beach in Sochi- no one else even existed to me. I knew I had to carry her stuff, and my own, for the first time my socks stank, I was developing myself into the woman I am today. On this day, I was testing out a (faulty) camera I found in the garbage, and wondering why I wasn’t running out of film, only to find out that the film simply wasn’t moving along, manifesting to me what dissociation feels like. I wish my mother taught me how to be this good at photoshop, instead she taught me to make mistakes with outcomes as treasures.
Everything continues the more you shrug. The less you smile. Reading Carlos Castaneda last summer, and his philosophy about the left side of your existence, expanded the vision I had of my photos tremendously. I realized my subjects were always either square forward facing me, or their body was turned towards me so that I always captured their left side. I support the idea of thinking that I capture people’s fears, but that isn’t always the truth if said people don’t have fears. This night, I was making out with my enemies and drinking wine with strangers, while my friends were playing a show in a provincial art gallery- I jokingly invited them to play the party I was at, and they agreed. Until the moment they showed up and played, I was convinced they knew I was joking.
I never really considered photography to be anything more complicated than documentation, until I met Austin, who forgave me for not understanding right away, that photography was the simplest way to explain the truth. On this day, Austin came to terms with the fact that he will never see a lake in Missouri in -20 weather, we put on all of the gloves I had at my house, all the sweaters and scarves, and headed to Lake Ontario despite frost-bite-promising conditions. I never thought it would feel as natural and forgiving, as it did, to stand in the snow amongst sand, looking over endless waters, maybe a sky-scraper of Buffalo somewhere in the far, far future. I wasn’t even cold.
When I was 16 years old, a year and a half ago, I decided the best way to run away from myself, was to go on a trip to Chicago, St.Louis and Oklahoma, mostly by myself. My logic was the only thing flawed about this trip. I stayed at Bee & Harold’s house in Chicago and we ate lots of Indian food, then Bleeding Gums drove me to St.Louis, as one of them told me I looked like the singer of Mollot (which I am.) Austin and I went to a show at Bonerville, then drove ten hours in a car with Matthew, and I mistook cows for horses, as per usual. One of the days at Everything Is Not Okay, Lumpy and the Dumpers played alongside Coneheads in an alley way behind the main fest venue. There is always place for a revolution within one.
In 2017, I began making a lot of changes to adult-ify myself. I graduated high school early (despite all of my subconscious best efforts, it seems), I got into a college program I am actually interested in, I went on tour, almost moved across the country, got a job, and stopped feeling obligated to do things I wasn’t entirely sure I should be doing. I don’t believe in natural hierarchy, unfortunately for my chefs. I took this photo of my friend Philippe after work one day, I suppose the way you do when you aren’t sure how to capture a moment so beautiful. It may be hard to imagine, but reality was even more gravity defying.
It all begins where it starts. In our own bedrooms, alone, late at night, conceptualizing what we think is next to come. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes the best we do is estimate. The damage that could be done, however many times we don’t forgive those we should, the number of times we have fucked up on any given day. With all progress, it doesn’t start in thin air, or numbers, statistics or controlled follies, movements or conversations. All of those things are an outcome of the personal revolutionary thoughts we are consumed with, the breakthroughs, the heartbreaks, the love for life some of us are blessed to have. This is Gazm, on one of the most fundamental nights of my entire life, for I have explained to myself then, what it means to be here now.