Tenerife, Canary Islands | Contemporary Russian Photography | Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA) #africa

Tim Parchikov, Ivan Mikhailov and Sergey Shestakov
The Contemporary Russian Photography settles in Tenerife
Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA)

Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (Tenerife Arts Space) (TEA) shows the exhibition "Contemporary Russian Photography": Tim Parchikov, Ivan Mikhailov, Sergey Shestakov". Composed by a hundred works, the exhibition will be open until May 4th, 2014. On loan by Moscow's Multimedia Art Museum, with the collaboration of diChroma photography, it is curated by Olga Sviblova, director of Moscow House of Photography - Multimedia Art Museum.

The Moscow House of Photography brings to the Photography Center "Isla de Tenerife" three exhibitions of contemporary Russian photographers who are among the most outstanding representatives of the contemporary Russian art scene: Tim Parchikov, Ivan Mikhailov and Sergey Shestakov.

While Tim Parchikov (1983) and Ivan Mikhailov (1981) belong to a new artistic generation, they have already made several solo exhibitions both in Russia and abroad. Currently, works of both are part of the exhibition "Oblivion, Remembrance, Reminiscence" ("L'oubli, le souvenir, la reminiscence"), in the fifth edition of the new Centre Pompidou's Festival, in Paris.

The three photographers explore the theme of memory: historical in the case of Parchikov, genetic in Mikhailov and social in Shestakov. Each of them studies the mechanism of how information is collected and transfered, the composition of artifacts that evoke in the spectator the unleashing of memories.

In its project "Magnitogorsk" Tim Parchikov watch the transformation of the industrial city of Magnitogorsk, which was founded in 1929 and became one of the first projects of urban development in the age of Stalin's industrialization. The artist is interested by the architecture, the ecology and especially by the people whose life, like that of 60 years ago, depends on one way or another of the Magnitogorsk metallurgical complex.

While Parchikov explores the specific problems of a Russian city, the project is typologically interesting for all countries that are faced with the problem of depression and the closure of many industries which, still working even by inertia, draggs with them the lives of many citizens.

Magnitogorsk is a city that has been stuck in time, between the Soviet era and the modern Russia. On the one hand, it seems that people still live in the Soviet past, but on the other hand the current reality shows the signs of the new capitalist reality that invades life with the limousines and the omnipresent advertising. The city depends entirely on the factory, which is still in operation, but that can follow the footsteps of the great industrial areas of Western and Eastern Europe. What will become of Magnitogorsk and its inhabitants? That is the question posed by Tim Parchikov.

Ivan Mikhailov, on the other hand, addresses the issue of genetic memory, showing in his work three or four generations of women related by family: mothers, grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters. Changing social reality exacerbates the contrast between generations, but nonetheless the family portraits of Ivan Mikhailov show how blood and family connect the people more than the times and their social attributes.

Sergey Shestakov starts with his project "Trip to the Future. Stop n. 1", dedicated to Chernobyl. In 2011, risking exposure to radiation, Shestakov penetrated in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, to document how was the place 25 years after the terrible nuclear catastrophe. There, photographing in nursery school some children's books reduced to dust, he found a book by Soviet writer Zoya Voskresenskaya -which included a portrait of Lenin-, called "Trip to the future", which gave name to his project. Shestakov center its attention on the issue of the legacy that of our current civilization will leave to future generations. How fragile is the world which we believe to reign, depend on a simple human error, or the unstable nature, a nuclear catastrophe or of the abandonment of the places by their inhabitants?

The project "Trip to the future. Stop n. 2. Gudym" shows the remains of a military base built in Chukotka during the Cold War, in times of the missiles' crisis with Cuba and the active confrontation between the United States and the former USSR. That base housed Soviet missiles. Since the end of the 1980s the processes of disarmament, the fall of the iron curtain, along with the collapse of the USSR made that this base, where worked more than 1.000 people, was completely abandoned. In Its ruins, like the Chernobyl exclusion zone, now only lives an elderly woman. On the wall of her house there is an icon made of paper with a handwritten note: "Everything will go well, but it will be different".

The exhibition raises questions about our responsibility with the future generations, about the world that we are going to leave and the possibility that the city of Magnitogorsk, in the event that finally closes the factory, finishes being like the Gudym zone.

Olga Sviblova
Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA)
Tenerife Arts Space
Centro de Fotografía / Photography Center “Isla de Tenerife”
Av de San Sebastián, 10,
38003 Santa Cruz de Tenerife


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