While being forced to stay at home has divided families and friends, lockdown brought us all together to live through a shared experience.
Instead of welcoming conversations about the weather, friends now share how not to go crazy and lose productivity while working from home. During the quarantine, London-based photographer Andy Go conducted 71 remote photo shoots in 52 cities and 34 countries.
I started it in April, after a month of sitting at home, taking numerous photos of my wife, and developing films manually for the first time. It was quite unusual not to plan any shoots, not to negotiate with anyone. FaceTime shooting was just getting popular, so I decided to try it. After a few remote shots in St. Petersburg, my home city, I thought that it is not necessary to shoot in St. Petersburg, because you can shoot anywhere, and now it does not require much of an additional effort. I started shooting. From Vladivostok to Mexico city, from St. Petersburg to Cape Town. During the shooting, I thought that it turns out that people are separated and at the same time united by quarantine.
The phrase “Thread from the world” immediately came to mind (it is a Russian saying – A thread from the world makes a shirt for a naked”, and I imagined a thread connecting different parts of the world. After a couple of shootings, I realized that it is not necessary to use Facetime, which does not really give a decent image quality, but you can use cameras and full smartphone camera quality – thus the photos started to look as if I took them being directly nearby.
71 photo sessions, 52 cities, 34 countries. more than 70 hours of shooting, more than 30 hours of messaging and other admin work, more than 100 hours of selection and editing. [Curator / support: Sofia Dmitreva] [Project]
About Andy Go
Andy Go was born in Leningrad, USSR and grew up in St. Petersburg Russia. He started photography rather late – at 27, during a personal and career crisis, being inspired by participating in the photoshoot (as a model) with Evgeni Mokhorev and later studying his works. At the age of 29, he emigrated from his home city and lived in worked in Greece and the UK since. Currently, he is a freelance photographer in London.
Andy’s main interest in photography are people, and people as persons but not as symbols or characters. He works both with film and digital he does portrait and nude client photography, and has several ongoing personal projects. His very first project was “Flowers and Elements”, where the image of the naked human body was fulfilled with one fundamental flower or element. He started it in 2015, and hasn’t exhibited since, for various reasons. His second project is “Inner Mongolia”. Inner Mongolia is a province in China inhabited with Mongol people living outside Mongolia. Similarly, Andy tooks photos of his family and friends when he visits home city, and keeps them with him far away. Photography for him being introvert himself is the best and arguably the only way to communicate with people.
Andy’s third and most favourite project, “Virgins of Nude”, that he started in 2017, appeared after extensive shooting of “Flowers and Elements”. It is the project where people shoot nude for the first time in their life. With this project he wants to show that nudity is normal, and being nude is neither socially nor aesthetically nor psychologically unacceptable. Regular people come to do nude photoshoots for various reasons – for some of them it is a psychological barrier, for some the reason lies in strict families or societies they come from, but overall it is the most exciting and interesting project Andy worked on, and he really likes that the swingeing majority of participants are very happy after the photoshoot.
In spring 2020 there was no work for portrait photographer during the lockdown, Andy doesn’t feel super excited to shoot via skype/facetime etc, but it can potentially be an opportunity, and he made his fourth personal project – Thread from the world, where he photographed over 70 people from over 50 different cities and 35 different countries. In all his project Andy tries to show the likeliness between all the people and subtle differences between them. Also, he tries to keep them in a ‘non-posing’ state by having a conversation rather than a small talk during the shoot. Andy especially likes photographing people he knows personally and having long -term collaborations, when he photographs a person once a year or so to track the changes not only in the appearance, but also in self-perception. [Official Website]