India: Dreaming of Varanasi


Thoughts about India worried the author long before the trip itself, which lasted six months — obsessions, dreams, reveries… Much of what was happening with Victor in Odessa, and then in different parts of India, starting with the city of death and life, eternity and existence, the city of Varanasi, sacred to Hindus and pilgrims from around the world, influenced both the photography itself and the final selection and author’s printing of the shots significant to Ratushny. The efforts in creating this exhibition, including the preconceptions about this unknown journey, are known only to the author and those close to him. Alive and dead.

Mikhail Maslennikov


 Self-portrait from Varanasi 2019


The Steps of Varanaci

In early February, as the Indian heatwave was approaching the South at the speed of a local passenger train, I was already rushing towards the centre of the country, the legendary Varanasi. It took two days to find accommodation. Luck smiled with a full moon and a meeting with Muna, the owner of a commune of five floors. The inner terraces of the floors echoed with the sounds of guests. Among them were many musicians and travellers from Bob Marley.

On the 5th floor, under the scorching sun lived the captain, a Greek with a resinous beard, a skilful macramé master. He introduced me to his crew and sailed the Ganges until he fell ill. Almost no one escaped this fate and we shared recipes to save our stomachs. Everything was on the verge of exhaustion and a new beginning. I waited patiently, down the steps to the Ganges and up the steps, seeking what words could not convey.

We would gather at Babaji’s place and he would brew tea on the terrace. This tea cost only 5 rupees, but the cup was small. You have to order three times.

A thick sweetish air permeated the coast and boats along the shore adorned the Ganges like a necklace. They brought back memories as they sailed between two sacred places. Ten years ago I was different, but Varanasi is eternal. A portal to other worlds. It teaches you to read the signs along the way. Varanasi’s steps are twice as high as normal, there are eighty-six of them terraced to boats and swelling joints slowing down.

Victor Ratushny


Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

events

Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Sergey Nikolaev

Please welcome our new NCU member. Sergey Nikolaev was born in 1957 in Dnepropetrovsk in the east of Ukraine. Based...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Tartu 2019

'Chukotka is a land of loneliness' 4 February — 7 March, 2019 Noga Creative Union and the group OVER present...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Alexander Shchemliaev

Please welcome our new NCU member. Alexander Shchemlyaev, born Dubrovin, was born in 1956 in the Nanai camp...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

David Verberckt

Please welcome our new NCU member. David Verberckt was born in 1971 in Ostend, Belgium. Based in Budapest, Hungary.
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Narva 2018

'Chukotka is a land of loneliness' 10 November — 17 December, 2018 Grand Prix of the XXIV International Photo...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Vitebsk 2018

'Ordinary Photos' 20 — 24 June, 2018 III International Festival of Photography “FotoKrok” named after Sigismund...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Sergey Trapezin

Please welcome our new NCU member. Sergey Trapezin was born in 1972 in Moscow, USSR. Based in Moscow, Russia.
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Eugene Kanaev

Please welcome our new NCU member. Evgeny Kanaev was born in 1955 in Zelenodolsk, USSR. Based in Kazan, Russia.
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Viktor Ratushny

Please welcome our new NCU member. Victor Ratushny was born 1952 allegedly in the Vinnytsia region, Ukrainian...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Odessa 2013

'Ordinary Photos' 1 — 15 October, 2013 Noga Creative Union, Department of Culture, Nationalities, Religions and the...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Nizhny Novgorod 2013

'3 Outskirts' 3 — 16 April, 2013 Noga Creative Union, Ministry of Culture of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, and Russian...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Yekaterinburg 2012

'3 Outskirts: Karelia, Altai, Chukotka' 14 May — 20 June, 2012 Noga Creative Union and GM Photo Gallery present...
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Anna Voitenko

Please welcome our new NCU member. Anna Voitenko was born in 1979 in Kiev, Ukraine. Based in Kiev, Ukraine.
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Alex Melia

Please welcome our new NCU member. Alex Melia was born in 1972 in Moscow, USSR. Based in Moscow, Russia.
Viktor Ratushny / India. Dreaming of Varanasi. Noga Creative Union

Eric Gourlan

Please welcome our new NCU member. Eric Gourlan was born in 1968 in the town of Lunel (southern France). Based...