Aleksei Kazantsev (1975), photographer of Belarusian origin based in Antwerp since 1999.
Graduated from Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics in 1997.
Graduated from SCVO Nijverheidsschool Fotografie, Antwerpen in 2011.
Gerardo Montiel Klint on the winning image in Life Framer "Night Life" competition:
"Isolation, presence, absence - non-realisitic and haunting. Landscape and night as a metaphor. Eerie subject. This is a powerful image that reminds me of expressionism cinema, romantic literature, and sci-fi graphic novels, all at the same time. Intertextuality that gives a classic influence as background but reflects a very contemporary context for the social being in this turn of century. There is a very interesting atmosphere and universe created here, and it's an image that is already stuck on my conscious. I would like to see more images from this photographer."
Moray Mair (mutantspace.com):
"Aleksei Kazantsev's photographs from 'Light Forms Grey Forms Dark Forms' are dark mysterious pictures that draw us into the mythos of nature. The woods and forests of our imagination. These self portraits render Kazantsev amorphous, a moving figure from a dream, a nightmare, floating, not quite of nature yet wholly part of it, the twilight giving depth to his pictures and rooting them deep into the history of the landscape on which he treads. And yet these are not isolated places. They are locations that exist on the fringes of our cities, of his urban environment in Belgium. Yet, when the sun sets these innocuous places - that we pass everyday, that are unremarkable, unnoticed, dull and uninteresting - come to life and his imagination stirs, his emotional senses awaken to the existence of a world that belongs to a different realm. For over two years Kazantsev has been traipsing into the fields and forests around his hometown of Antwerp to reflect on the mystical and elemental spirit of nature and the result is these pictures. Photographs that remind us that the mechanistic determinism of our lives is only one small aspect of the totality of existence. That there is more that lies beneath the ordinary."
Katherine Oktober Matthews (GUP Magazine) on the winning runner up image in Life Framer "Urban Life" competition:
"This is a gentle and beautiful study of urban isolation. We see across an outer courtyard or road a series of windows of apartments with the old man looking out, but just as importantly, we see evidence of the interior of our 'own' apartment: There's the frame of a window, a lamp and its reflection. The image is made all the more powerful with this dialogue between what we see as the photographer's living quarters and the old man across from him: it's not one isolated person, it's two. at least. Even though (it appears) the man has someone nearby, his life is neatly framed into a little box, and a clear glass plate that he must view the world through. He's separated, and so are we. He's looking out from his apartment into the world, looking for signs of life. and so are we. The choice of black and white strengthens this theme, and the inclusion of the lamp and its reflection operates not only as a physical object in the image, but also as a kind of emotional symbolism - the reflection sits closer to the man than to us, creating a connection between us. It also sits like a thought bubble above the old man's head, making the other surface, the lamp, our own thought bubble. There's a lot to think about inside this image."