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Territories of Desire. Contemporary Russian Photography exhibition in Tampere

Photographic Centre Nykyaika (Tampere, Finland), FotoDepartament Foundation (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) and Tampere Art Museum (Finland)

presents the exhibition of contemporary photography from Russia

as a part of the International photography festival Backlight 2011 – Migration and Nomadic Living in 21st Century

Contemporary Russian Photography

17 September – 3 November 2011
Opening: Friday, 16 September 2011, 18:00–20:00
Tampere Art Museum, Finland

Curators: Nadya Sheremetova (FotoDepartament) and Ulrich Haas-Pursiainen (Backlight)
Concept: Ulrich Haas-Pursiainen

Russian photographers:
Anna Block
Leo Bugaev
Aleksander Gronsky
Tatiana Ilyina
Sergey Kremnev
Sergey Kozmin
Anna Lipman
Sergey Lutsenko
Stanislav Markov
Ivan Mikhailov
Evgeniy Mokhorev
Margo Ovcharenko
Sofia Pigalova
Pavel Platonov
Tatyana Plotnikova
Julia Prokhorova
Jana Romanova
Konstantin Salomatin
Andrei Shapran
Irina Yulieva
Oksana Yushko
Alena Zhandarova

In a 21st century global perspective probably Russia forms that last territorial with so called “White Spots” on the map, spots that for centuries have accelerated the fantasy of nomadic traveler-scientists and searching explorers – today those white spots have transformed into synonyms for desired and deserved ENERGY for the industrial corporations of 21st century. Russia is a territorial for desire!

Contemporary Russia is also a relevant and exiting research field for migration, fluctuation and 21st century identities. After the Tsars it was Josef Stalin, the totalitarian ruler after the Russian revolution who has created and realized the vision of the Soviet Society – based on large scale and forced migration of millions of people in an endless and borderless territorial: from East to West to North to South to East… Urban Russia today is a multi-ethnic community with a dramatic diversity of side-by-side existing identities in a condensed industrial environment – in search for new concepts of living together.

This post-soviet contemporary Russian community has to and will find and define its way into the 21st century. It has to and will develop an integrative and sustainable concept of a joint Russian Identity, a project indeed comparable with the goal of creating European Citizenship, as desired territories. This contemporary identity research is in the hands of the young generation and photography is the medium they have in use!
The canon is under construction, visual languages become visible.

After two years of fruitful cooperation the Photographic Centre Nykyaika in Tampere has invited the FotoDepartament in Saint Petersburg for a joint curatorial project as keynote to the international photography festival Backlight 2011 – Migration and Nomadic Living in 21st Century

The exhibition with 22 position will be presented on two floors in the Tampere Art Museum: It will provide the spectators with challenging inside views into contemporary Russia society, it will introduce young generations concepts and visions of life and living together and it will consist of excellent artistic concepts and convincing documentations.

There will be positions:
-documenting and reflecting migration, nomadic and semi-nomadic traditions in rural and in urban environment
-visualizing the importance and the magic of the village as a home, as a place of longing and belonging. The Magic of Images for understanding the overwhelming nature and secrets of life
-focusing the slim borderline/passage that separates and connects nature/wilderness from and with civilization/urbanization – including the multiple approach of traditional and contemporary nomads circulating, living and shaping in-between of such environments.

Despite, maybe because of the endless Russian territorial it is the human appearing in the centre – his borderless internal territorial as deep and magic landscapes and synonyms of longing and belonging. Find-Your-Land / Backlight 2011

Ulrich Haas

Backlight 2011 webpage –


Press contacts: +7 (901) 301-7993 /

The exhibition is available for traveling since December 2011. For further information please contact: Nadya Sheremetova,

Organizer of the exhibition:
FotoDepartament Foundation
Nevskiy prospect 32 / 2nd floor / Saint-Petersburg / Russia
Phone/fax: (812) 314-5925 / +7-901-301-7994