2018 Nov 04

An occupation of silence

Silence and patience are two things which are hard to come by in our daily lives in big cities. Kondratyev documented the daily routine of ice fishers, a group of people who still enjoy these two virtues, in a series of fantastic photographs.

Words by Hassen Ben Chtioui
Photographs Aleksey Kontradyev

Aspiring photographer Aleksey Kondratyev, who was born 1993 in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, shot an impressive series which shows the work of an ice fisher– an occupation that requires silence and patience.
One day, Kondratyev stumbled across the mystical scene of Kazakh men fishing below the frozen surface of a river. It immediately caught his imagination and he decided to capture the event with his camera. The photographer took this series at the Ishim River, where the ice fishers practice their profession daily – A fascinating occurrence.
The images show men covering themselves under huge plastic bags protecting their bodies from the cold. These improvised shells build the centre of Aleksey’s photographs – the only protection between the men, the cold and endless white.
“The way in which they functioned as inadvertent sculptures,” explained the artist.
Kondratyev works between Detroit and Central Asia. He recently completed a fellowship at Fabrica and is the director and co-founder of Stand Quarterly.