News digest of Russian photographers: Autumn 2017 – Winter 2018


News from FotoDepartament.Gallery’s artists, FotoDepartament.Institute’s alumni, friends, and colleagues from Young Russian photography generation

“Testosterone” by Alexandra Soldatova in Berlin / The “Our Trip” exhibition in Minsk

Alexandra Soldatova‘s Testosterone is a project that captures two of the most celebrated days in Belarus – 9 May and Independence Day. In Autumn 2017 it was exhibited at the Aff Galerie in Berlin. 

An exhibition Our Trip is at the National Center of Contemporary Art in Minsk till 24 of February. The project discovers the idea of unspoken rules, which we use to record our happiest moments and “special” occasions. What makes us push the button and save the picture? And who consumes this craft?
Check out prints and set of postcards from Alexandra’s project “It must be beautiful”

Igor Samolet’s work in Düsseldorf / A publication on Bird in Flight and other news from the author

As part of the Moscow Days in Vienna, the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presented New Generation of Russian Art, an exhibition of works by students and graduates of the A. Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia. The exhibition included photographs, video and interactive installations exploring a reality that is rapidly changing before our eyes, analyzing the theme of identity and also reflecting on the nature of art as it is modified and transformed under the influence of information technology.

Breakfast for Artyom, a series by Igor Samolet, reflects on whether it is possible to create a competition for gadgets, in a bid to attract the attention of the new generation of “online children”. The artist’s goal was to devise such a game in reality, to make it more interesting than an electronic game. Igor Samolet creates a live performance involving his small nephew. A live game and human communication at least temporarily win over computer games.

“Things Igor shoots in his room Europeans describe as ‘disturbing pictures of the youth experimenting with the alternative lifestyle’. Igor’s publisher in Berlin and Peperoni Books founder Hannes Wanderer says that Igor would probably go to jail if the book was published in Russia,” – a critic and reviewer Olga Bubich said about Igor Samolet’s Be Happy!photobook.

Read Olga Bubich’s review of the books discovering celebration and idleness on Bird In Flight.

In November Igor Samolet showed his new work called See me more during their exhibition with Vladimir Zuev at the Atelier Am Eck in Düsseldorf.
Orgy of the Things is an exhibition that puts household items in the art context, making between them the connections existing apart from the human factor.  Igor’s sculpture Seventeenth was presented during the show at The Foundation of  Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin.
“It was time to reap a harvest, and the process of working on the land hit me upon an idea of going back to the roots, to the history of that place. The idea of earth nourishing plants, as well as the past nourishing the future, was as natural as connecting my self-portraits with the old shots,” – Igor Samolet describes his project Herbarium.

FK Magazine a web-based magazine writing on Latvian and international photography with the main interest area in contemporary photography in East and North Europe published this project within the series of posts about AMPLITUDE №1‘s projects. reviewed Igor Samolet’s show Drunk confessions that took place in late December 2017 at The Foundation of  Vladimir Smirnov and Konstantine Sorokin. There are people seeing photography as a “fading” medium, and the show proves them wrong by building the strong connections between the private and the public. Aroundart writes: “…he [an author] transfers screenshots of text messages, comments, and posts from social media to cloth – the texts which are about acts of terrorism, adoption of questionable bills, the renovation problems in Moscow and other situations, hot topic in public discussions both offline and online”.
Check out Igor Samolet’s prints and the book Herbarium from the AMPLITUDE №1 set

Irina Ivannikova’s and Alexandra Naletova’s project SOCIAL ( art ) PRACTICE ( art )

A FotoDepartament.Gallery’s photographer Irina Ivannikova and a dance therapist Alexandra Naletova launched a website called SOCIAL ( art ) PRACTICE ( art ), a privately initiated project dedicated to the issues of identity, environment, communication through the prism of art practice.

Check out Irina Ivannikova’s book Renovation from the AMPLITUDE №1 set and prints from the series

Dmitry Lookianov’s project in Landscape Stories / A book Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums’ presentation and other news from the author

A book Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums on post-soviet sanatoriums and their guests was presented at The Lumiere Brothers Center of Photography in Moscow December 2017 and at the Calvert 22 gallery in London October 2017.

The project Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums is created by a FotoDepartament.Gallery’s author Dmitry Lookianov and photographers Egor RogalevOlya IvanovaRene FietzekMichal SolarskiClaudine Doury,  Vladimir Shipotilnikov and  Natalia Kupriyanova.

Find Dmitry’s project Instant tomorrow in the new issue of Landscape Stories.

“New types of typical apartment building areas which arising massively at the boundaries of the city are often deprived of any super ideas and their design is based on maximum utility. Watching everyday life of these spaces I snatch significant pieces and disparate parts from the present reality so to add them together and get a picture of an imaginary future,” – the author tells.

The Post Pravda magazine listed Dmitry Lookianov as one of the photographers who give an insight into what life in the world’s largest, and possibly most misunderstood, country is like.
A project DKdance was shown at New Generation of Russian Art, an exhibition of works by students and graduates of the A. Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia.
Dmitry Lookianov on FotoDepartament

Kirill Savchenkov’s exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the author’s other projects

From 23 November to 2 December an exhibition First Person in Amsterdam was presenting the work of eight contemporary Russian artists, born in the last decade of the Soviet Union and grown up in post-soviet space. The exhibition offered cross-media experiences through multiple first-person perspectives, spread over three city locations. Kirill Savchenkov a FotoDepartament.Gallery’s author was presenting his work among other artists.

Kirill’s installation Knowledge Editing Division that reflects experimental educational practices as one of the central themes of the author’s work, took part in 4th Ural Industrial Biennal of Contemporary Art.
On 5 November V-A-C Foundation presented the exhibition of Kirill Savchenkov’s Office of Sensitive Activities / Applications Group. The exhibition was part of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) programme Carte Blanche, which invited art institutions to implement their own curatorial initiatives at MMOMA sites.

Office of Sensitive Activities / Applications Group is a study of survival in an environment of crises, global instability, and post-human future. The project studies the systems of knowledge and practices through which the human intellect will interact with the non-human.

In November BURSA Gallery presented an exhibition Dance, Dance, Dance a look at the post-Soviet dance scene as a luminous symptom of social and political processes, and part of The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017. Kirill Savchenkov’s work was presented among the others.
Kirill Savchenkov on FotoDepartament

“Magnificent” by Yury Gudkov at an exhibition Young Photography 2017

In early October the Presence festival was held in St.Petersburg. An exhibition Young Photography 2017 within the main program presented several projects by talented Russian authors including Magnificent by Yury Gudkov.

“This project was originally planned as a response to the involvement in the work activities of a company producing equipment for the diamond industry. The diamond as an object of labor has a particular specificity. It is perceived as an immutable object of desire (it is difficult to explain its appeal based on its physical properties or its rarity), and represents the pure value. Attempts to describe its appeal rationally are made through the “beauty” of its glow and shining. In this regard, I am interested to consider the diamond not as an object in itself, but as something that shows its value in the ability to create a specific configuration of light. The diamond is a material, with which we can see the beauty of light per se. Moreover, here I am interested in a parallel with photography as a phenomenon that creates the configuration of light rather than a shape of things, which makes us enjoy not the observed object, but the light reflected from it,” – the author says.

Check out Yury Gudkov’s books and prints

Irina Zadorozhnaia’s project at an exhibition Privacy and tranquility / A publication in FK Magazine

In early October the Presence festival took place in St.Petersburg. An exhibition Privacy and tranquility within the main program presented several projects by Russian and international authors including Journey to Jess by Irina Zadorozhnaia, which explores the gap between the real and the imaginary.

“The machine emits images. Random intersections both positive and negative. The machine eliminates borders between imaginary and reality. The machine can cause and kill thoughts and feelings, set dizziness, runny nose, euphoria. Where is this happening? Select a point on the map,” – the author says.

A project Machine by Irina Zadorozhnaia is published in FK Magazine a web-based magazine writing on Latvian and international photography with the main interest area in contemporary photography in East and North.
Check out the prints and books by Irina Zadorozhnaia

Fyodor Telkov’s exhibition “The Blood of the Narts” in Vladikavkaz /An interview to The Russian Union of Art Photographers and other news from the author

A photographer and founder of Photobookstore Magazine Martin Amis published the list of his favorite photobooks of 2017 – including Fyodor Telkov’s 36 views on the difficult economic and environmental situation of the city of Degtyarsk.

The project is short-listed in the international Prio Gabriele Basilic award for landscape and architectural photographers as well as won the Fotocanal Photography BOOK Contest organized by Comunidad de Madrid and Ediciones Anómalas.

FK Magazine announced The Best East European Photobook in 2017. The book 36 views made it to the list.

How to define your purpose, what photography brings us and why you can be stuck in a rut by not comparing yourself with others – read in Fyodor’s interview to The Russian Union of Art Photographers.
From December 8 to January 22, Vladikavkaz was hosting Fyodor Telkov’s exhibition The Blood of the Narts.

“«Alania. Testament / The Blood of the Narts» is an attempt not only to find heroes of the epic in modern Ossetians but to discover the mythological origins that feed the people’s consciousness, and, I believe, keep forming the cultural, moral and even external appearance of the ethnos till present,” – the author says.

Read about the project in Critical Mess magazine as well as on Bird in Flight.

An installation Artless confessions by Fyodor Telkov was shown at the 4th Ural Industrial Biennal of Contemporary Art.
Fyodor’s project Smog on the problem of Ural monocities is short-listed for the international contest “Direct Look”, built around problems pertaining to relations between people and society and state, as well as ways of addressing these problems.
Check out the books by Fyodor Telkov

Elena Kholkina’s and Olga Alexeenko’s Reciprocity book launch / Russian Book Sales–Exhibition in Tallinn

Photographers Elena Kholkina and Olga Alexeenko published a book Reciprocity, a one-year experiment of two photographers, who represent two separate views and work together for the first time. Olga is an architectural photographer, Elena shoots personal documentary and self-portraits.

The starting point of the project is the concept of “home” that came in as common ground. As the project evolves, the authors elaborate the concept of collaboration through personal correspondence in social networks etc, registering how artists from different backgrounds can work together, compromising between own interests\habits and shared experiences, how reciprocity grows along the process.

On October 30, as part of the Tallinn Photomonth 2017, Russian Independent SelfPublished (RIS) team of Elena Kholkina, Natalia Baluta and Alla Mirovskaya, presented an exhibition Russian Book Sales–Exhibition about the tendencies and characteristics of Russian contemporary photographic art field.
Check out Elena Kholkina’s prints and books

MOJOImages at the Photo Vogue Festival

For the 2017 year’s edition, Photo Vogue Festival presented PhotoVogue/Visions a kaleidoscope of different authorial visions which reflects the very nature of Photo Vogue, the photographic platform of, opened to every kind of photographic genres.

Portraits by MOJOimages, a duet of Irina Yulieva and Victor Yuliev, were presented among the others.

Check out Irina Yulieva’s book “Broken Knees” from the AMPLITUDE №1 set and prints from the project

Yulia Spiridonova’s project “Native Tales” at the Presence festival

One of the guests at an exhibition Privacy and tranquility after the good examination of Native Tales project by Yulia Spiridonova said: “I recognize this photo. My generation will easily detect the person in this picture, even with his head cropped.”

“Native Tales illustrate narrative manipulations practiced by media by decontextualizing the images, cropping them and adding artificial noise. Rooting my project in the Picture Generation, I created a digital appropriation of historic photographs in order to pivot awareness towards the optic. The purpose of these visual disturbances is a double play with the viewer, in which photographs are at first mechanically perceived as a sequence of unrelated platitudes, then, with the help of the noise, a schizophrenic doubt is posed about the reality of those memories” – the author says.

Check out Yulia Spiridonova’s book and prints

Ksenia Yurkova’s performance and the project at the Presence festival

From 5 to 12 October, as part of an exhibition Privacy and tranquility, one could see SuperpositionKsenia Yurkova‘s project exploring the young people aged 25-45 in different countries: their intentions, behavior, expectations, and readiness to interact and demonstrate themselves.

On October 7, during the Presence festival, Ksenia hosted Mediated Presence an online performance.

“I touched on sensitive questions of an artist’s built-in to a system of social and power relations; questions of artist’s body as a subject of biological needs and as a medium and object of artistic study; and the main – the question of artist’s labor, its marginal cost in a proportion of man-hour and product” – the author says.

Check out Ksenia Yurkova’s prints

Alexey Bogolepov’s exhibition “Triacon” in VYKSA Artist-in-Residency / “Efficiency Ritual” in FK Magazine

Alexey Bogolepov‘s exhibition Triacon a mix of artistic thinking and engineering design was held in VYKSA Artist-in-Residency until December 31.

From September 8 to 10, Alexey’s works, presented by Gallery Triangle, was pleasing the eyes of collectors and art lovers – the guests of the International Cosmoscow Contemporary Art Fair.
A project Efficiency Ritual, an exploration of morphogenesis, spanning modernist architecture, organic formations, and daily performed practices, is published in Latvian FK Magazine.
Check out Alexey Bogolepov’s book “Efficiency Ritual” from the AMPLITUDE №1 set

“Mzensk” by Anastasia Tsayder in Kiosk of democracy / An exhibition “New bonds” in Moscow

An online magazine Kiosk of democracy published the project by Russian author Anastasia Tsayder Mzensk, which as a photobook was included in the AMPLITUDE №1 set. “Mzensk” is a fantasy of the ideal Russian village, existing in such native image only somewhere in literature, folklore, or cinema.

From September 25 to September 29, the Moscow Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences was hosting New bonds a photo exhibition devoted to what usually remains behind laboratories’ walls – the work of a modern scientist. The photo exhibition was presented as part of the 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art. Anastasia Tsayder and Olya Ivanova, the authors, presented in the AMPLITUDE №1 set, took part.
Check out Anastasia Tsayder’s book “Mzensk” from the AMPLITUDE №1 set and the prints from the series

Anastasia Tailakova’s project “N/A” in FK Magazine

FK Magazine on contemporary photography of Eastern and Northern Europe, has been publishing the series of the projects from the AMPLITUDE №1 set for several months now. Check out the last published piece Not Applicablea project by Anastasia Tailakova.

Check out Anastasia Tailakova’s book “N/A” from the AMPLITUDE №1 set and the prints from the series

Julia Borissova’s publications, the author’s participation in fairs, exhibitions and festivals

Independent curators Hester Keijser & Jörg Colberg published Julia Borissova‘s photobook Red Giselle on The IndependentPhoto Book.

The Independent Photo Book is a free distribution tool for independently published photo books or zines that are not available via Amazon or other standard outlets.

The book Red Giselle also entered the list of The best Russian photobooks of 2017, initiated by Russian Independent Selfpublished (RIS).

Julia Borissova’s books DOM and J.B. about men floating in the air from the Lumiere Brothers Center of Photography’s collection took part in the Festival of the Alternative Book and Periodicals held on December 16 in Moscow.
A book J.B. about men floating in the air, inspired by Joseph Brodsky’s poem “Lithuanian Nocturne”, appeared on display at the VOLUMES, Independent Art Publishing Fair in Zurich, and was published on The Angry Bat’s and in online magazines Dodho and REVUE WATT.
Julia Borissova’s books could also be seen at such events as Photobook Fair 2017 (Bradford, England); 6 pt (Vilnius, Lithuania); Hong Kong Zine & Print Fest 2017 and Feira do Livro de Fotografia de Lisboa – Lisbon’s Photobook Fair. At the 6 pt conference in Vilnius, Julia presented her books personally and talked about her working experience.
A series Running to the Edge appeared in art-magazine ARTESAN.NATO, on Losthenfound, and in OSTLOOK.

For this work Julia turned to archival photos connected with the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the first wave of emigration after it. The people in the photographs are strangers, she found their pictures and a diary at a flea market in St Petersburg.

A critic and reviewer Olga Bubich told Bird in Flight about her favorite photobooks, the list of which includes a book by Julia Borissova Address, “a story of one’s St. Petersburg childhood.”
Read about Julia’s project Dimitry in PHOTOGRVPHY Magazine. The series revolves around the story of Ivan the Terrible’s son, Tsarevich Dimitry, who died under mysterious circumstances in early age. Julia Borissova discovers the main character’s role in the history, which rapidly developed after his death.
Chek out the books, prints and postcards by Julia Borissova

Alexander Veryovkin’s project “Message history” at an exhibition “Letters to the Future” / A project “Intervention” at the Presence festival and the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art

In October 2017 Alexander Veryovkin‘s project Message history was realized within the two-part exhibition “Letters to the Future” dedicated to Soviet letters for the future generations in St. Peterburg.

“The first part of the project represents a graph that builds a history of the failed collective future (for two) from real text messages on the Internet. While the second part represents a hypothetical graph for its new birth” – the author says.

The project Intervention considers intervention as a gesture which implements the change of context in a broad sense.

Alexander Veryovkin’s project was shown as part of the Presence festival in October 2017 as well as at the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Check out the books and prints by Alexander Veryovkin

Natalya Reznik’s projects on The Angry Bat’s and on Bird in Flight

The Angry Bat’s nice photobooks site focuses on the presentation of photography books and tries to present one book each week.

A book Looking for My Father by Natalya Reznik was recently published on the site. “This project is very personal,” the author says. “It’s somewhere between documentary and fiction, where the dreams of my mother are real but the memory I created for myself is fictional.”

The book was presented at the Presence festival in St.Petersburg as well as during the Tallinn Photomonth 2017.

Check out Natalya’s project Secrets on Bird in Flight.

“My project is about women who moved to Germany from USSR about 15-20 years ago. The main reason for moving was the repatriation of their families, who were captives, deported, displaced persons during and after World War II (so called «Russian Germans»),” – the author says.

Check out Natalya Reznik’s book “Looking for My Father”

“Cherepovets” by Tatyana Palyga at Warsaw Photo Days 2017 / “Where I Live” on Kiosk of democracy

Tatyana Palyga‘s project “Cherepovets” about her hometown took part in the POSTSOVIETICUS exhibition presented by Warsaw Photo Days 2017.

 “These photographs were taken in on of the central old districts of Saint Petersburg, Russia, soon after I moved to live there.The project started when I decided to get out of my comfort zone and to photograph something unknown to me. I took my camera and left the house with the aim to take pictures of strangers, which had always been frightening me” – Tatyana says about her project Where I Live.

Read more about the project on Kiosk of democracy.

Zoopark Magazine, a collaborative project of the two Russian photographers, Tatyana Palyga and Alexander Bondar, appeared in the Library section of All Cities Are Beautiful, a website on contemporary urban photography.
Chek out Tatyana Palyga’s books and prints

Alexander Bondar’s “Kupchino” on Kiosk of democracy / Zoopark Publishing Collective’s books in Lisbon

Kiosk of democracy published Alexander Bondar‘s project about Kupchinowhich is the informal name of the Frunzenzky district in southern St Petersburg. “Dangerous”, “ugly” and “remote” are the adjectives most frequently used to describe the area.

Two editions of Zoopark Magazine initiated by Alexander Bondar and Tatyana Palyga and Alexander Bondar’s book Cat’s Eye participated in Feira do Livro de Fotografia de Lisboa – Lisbon’s Photobook Fair.
Check out Alexander Bondar’s books and prints

Jana Romanova’s project in National Geographic / The Waiting book at the Tallinn Photomonth 2017

National Geographic published Jana Romanova‘s new project Exotarium on their website.

“For Russia-based photographer Jana Romanova, her own deep-rooted ophidiophobia led her to work on a year-long project documenting pet snakes in her home country, which, she says, became common after the fall of the Soviet Union” – it says.

In October Jana Romanova’s book Waiting was presented by Russian Independent SelfPublished (RIS) at Tallinn Photomonth 2017.
Chek out Jana Romanova’s book “Waiting” and the prints from the series

Oksana Yushko’s projects in Gente di Fotografia, in Такие дела, and on Russia Beyond the Headlines

Gente di Fotografia published an article “La vita pura di noi stessi” about a project In Search of Islands by Oksana Yushko.

Read about the project in French on Russia Beyond the Headlines.

The informational portal Такие дела selected 17 stunning and unique stories that the portal had been publishing on its site throughout 2017. Oksana Yushko’s series Twins became one of them.
Oksana Yushko on FotoDepartament

The AMPLITUDE №1 set’s news

In September 2017 AMPLITUDE №1, a 10 books set by 10 Russian authors was short-listed in one of the most prominent world book awards – Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards 2017. We entered the top list of 20 books from all over the world, published for the first time in 2017.

Throughout 2018, the finalists’ exhibition is travelling through photo events in Germany, the USA, Lithuania, Russia, and Switzerland.

This Autumn was also marked by AMPLITUDE’s participation in UnseenParis PhotoOffprint, and Polycopies.

The set AMPLITUDE №1, according to a photographer and writer Colin Pantall, “pops up…just to square the circle” and “has that mix of the direct, the opaque and the culturally specific”, intrinsic to Russian culture and the current situation in Russian photography. Read a detailed review of AMPLITUDE №1 on Colin Pantall’s blog

Self Publish, Be Happy, an organization dedicated to shaping contemporary photography and visual culture through publishing, online and offline events, and education programmes added AMPLITUDE №1 to their Library section.

Feature Shoot wrote that AMPLITUDE №1 sounds more accurate as a “10 books by 10 Russian artists working with photography”. It’s fair to say that the “10 books by 10 Russian photographers” definition can’t cover the complex attitude of AMPLITUDE’s artists.

“…in the digital age, some of these artists push and peel at the fabric of our understanding of what contemporary photography is,” – Ellyn Kail, Feature Shoot’s writer, said.

Read the review of AMPLITUDE №1 by Ellyn Kail on Feature Shoot, a project, showcasing challenging our understanding of photography, cutting-edge works.

Check out AMPLITUDE №1

“FotoDepartament’s Best of 2017” in BJP

One of the most prestigious periodicals, British Journal of Photographypublished the top five Russia-related projects 2017 in the view of FotoDepartament. Our curators Nadya Sheremetova and Yury Gudkov shared their top 5 projects, reflected FotoDepartament’s activity and noticeable photographic events in Russia.

Read about the Presence festival, presented young and fully-fledged, Russian and international authors in St. Petersburg this autumn; about the AMPLITUDE №1 set, short-listed for The 2017 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards; about the debates, stemming from Daniel Tkachenko’s series Motherland; and other noteworthy events of the year, on British Journal of Photography’s website.

The Presence festival in St. Petersburg

This October for the second year in a row, FotoDepartament held Presence— a festival of contemporary photography in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Events of the festival’s program variedly declared the presence of photography in the cultural, social, visual and virtual present-day environment. The program expands the meeting, experienced between an image and a viewer, the dialogue arising between them.

The festival hosted exhibitions, an educational art laboratory, talks and lectures from guest curators, magazine editors and artists, a portfolio-review for photographers of different genres, artist projects, performances, and actions.

Photographs from the event can be found here.

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