Did you collaborate with many people for Gavot?
This issue was completely DIY, most of the models are my friends or people I met during nights out. The photography and collages were also done by me. My friends, however, helped a lot with art direction. I would invite them to mine and show the stories I shot; they would tell me “oh this is cool, oh this is shit, take it out”. They also helped me with the clothes — everything in the magazine was either borrowed from a friend or bought in charity shops, I wanted it to be about ideas and not about names.
We would go to these £1 thrift sales; get massive bags full of clothes; at night I would “disinfect” them by spraying surgical spirit on them, and then I would leave them hanging outside. Once the shoots were done we would carry them to charity donation points. And then in the magazine we would discuss credits like “who makes this sort of sweaters?”, and we would be like “oh, this could be Prada or Marni, let’s write that”. It was just fun and easy.
What was your experience of CSM? Was it enabling in someway, or is there something you didn’t like about it?
CSM is an intense place, not going to lie. First year feels like they are breaking everything you think of yourself and of your work. So then you kind of build yourself again, learn to justify your ideas; how and why you did something.
It was of course painful at times. My background was lacking experience in conceptual thinking, back home in Kazakhstan we didn’t have things such as cool trendy magazines, or art magazines, film festivals, and exhibitions. These all just start to emerge now. So when I just got into CSM my mind got twisted.
Where would you like to take your practice now? Are you staying in London?
I am currently looking for a job, I would love to work in a creative agency, to learn from someone, make them coffees in return. I want to stay in London for now, I think I haven’t experienced it to the fullest yet. For now, I’m not doing a second issue of Gavot. I am however working on my own portfolio and maybe it will become part of a second issue someday.