The images before me are a reflection of the ugly underbelly of our politics of borders and the desperate search for identity. Each frame captures a moment of chaos and despair, revealing the harsh reality of modern-day migration. The compositions are marked by a sense of chaos and decay, as though the figures are trapped in a world that is collapsing around them.
The colors are muted, the tones somber, and the landscapes are barren and desolate. The corpses and animal bones strewn across the dumps are a stark reminder of the human toll of our current system. Yet, even in the midst of this darkness, there is a strange beauty that emerges, a haunting quality that speaks to the power of the visual image to transcend the rational.
The figures in these images are caught in a state of limbo, suspended between worlds, as though they are struggling to find their place in a world that is rapidly changing. The tension between the figures and their environment is palpable, as though they are fighting against an unknown force that threatens to consume them.
These images force us to confront the complexities of migration and the constant evolution of identity in a world that is constantly in flux. They are a somber reminder that the search for belonging and recognition can often lead to destruction and chaos. Yet, even in the darkest of places, there is hope and resilience, a reminder that we are all in this struggle together.
Photographs of animal carcasses in various stages of decomposition(decay) and images of decapitated animals in slaughterhouses can leave viewers feeling disgusted and even shocked, but they can also stimulate discussion about our relationship to animals and our society as a whole. They may raise questions about how we have adapted to the world we live in and how our behavior affects animals and the environment.
Thus, Raphael’s photographs of animal carcasses and the slaughterhouse process can be linked to the concept of immigration through ideas of transition and adaptation, and spark discussion about our place in the world and our relationship with the environment.
The concept of immigration and the concept of slaughterhouses can be linked through the idea of transition from one state to another. Just as immigrants cross borders and move from one culture to another, animals pass from life to death in the slaughterhouse process. Both concepts can also be linked to the idea of adaptation. Just as immigrants must adapt to a new culture and lifestyle, so animals must adapt to the slaughterhouse environment and the end result of their lives.
Somewhere along the winding roads, armed with nothing but a backpack since February 24, 2022, Raphael Zulfugarov embarked on a journey that transcends the pursuit of specific creative opportunities; it resides in the primal impulse, the spontaneous moments where his images unfurl. Employing vivid flashes for surrealist sketches, he declares, “I often envision myself as a necro-realist artist, and at times, the Manchurian god Andrey-I possesses me. Through my photographs, I document the collapse of semantic capitalism, not as sorrow and melancholy, as it would be sinful to define it as an idle mind’s problem.”