‘New Landscape’ exhibition opened in Russia

The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center announces an exhibition ‘New Landscape’ presenting seven photography projects reflecting on the transformation of the post-Soviet landscape. The exhibition opens in the Art Gallery space on March 16, 2018.  

Artists: Alexander Gronsky, Anastasia Tsayder, Liza Faktor, Max Sher, Petr Antonov, Sergey Novikov, Valeri Nistratov.Curated by Anastasia Tsayder and Petr Antonov.

Group exhibition New Landscape features seven photography projects exploring the landscape as a means to reflect on the new post-Soviet culture. Observing how the man-made landscape is reshaped by the transition from the industrial to the post-industrial, the works show how these changes are further augmented by the transition from the planned economy to the free market, from the Soviet to the post-Soviet. Brought together the works create a portrayal of what may be a transformation of a landscape and a culture unprecedented in scale and pace.

The works of Liza Faktor, the earliest among the featured projects see Siberia as the Russian Frontier, once partially tamed but deserted anew as the centrally planned economy failed. Alexander Gronsky’s Less than One explores the outermost regions of Russia, where the average population is less than one person per square kilometre. Documents of Nature by Valeri Nistratov, mainly shot along the fringes of Moscow, the country’s megacity capital, looks for the marks of the nascent capitalism at the borders of the urbanised and the rural. The works by Max Sher and Petr Antonov explore similar changes, except they use the built environment to record the emerging aesthetics. Sergei Novikov’s Grassroots presents the landscapes of contemporary Russia as a gigantic backdrop for Russian amateur football as the country prepares for the 2018 World Cup, and it is this backdrop that draws principal attention. Arcadia by Anastasia Tsayder, similarly to Valeri Nistratov’s Documents of Nature, looks at the relation between the human and the natural, but instead of finding an opposition discovers a strange co-existence. If there is a conflict between the two it is the nature that is winning as it is re-conquering the urban space.

The interest towards the critical interpretation of the landscape in Russian photography rises in the 1990s and reaches its peak in the 2010s. The artists react to the social changes and observe the paradoxes brought about by them. Their works focus on the conflict between the man-made and the natural, the urban sprawl, the construction of the uniform shopping malls and office buildings, the transformation of the Soviet centrally planned landscape by the market economy—all these come as manifestations of the new post-Soviet landscape being born.

The exhibition is accompanied by a public program which include a series of panel discussions, lectures and films on the subjects of landscape, cultural studies and contemporary photography.

Exhibition New Landscape is presented in Ekaterinburg from March 16 to May 27, 2018 at the address: Yeltsin Center, ul. Boris Yeltsin, 3, Art Gallery Yeltsin Center, 2nd Floor. Opening hours: 10.00 – 21.00.

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