Picture: Igor Samolet

OSTLOOK representing contemporary international photography from the former Soviet and East European countries. Within the framework of the 7th Hamburg Photography Triennale 2018 projects made by the 25 authors are united for the first time at the exhibition – part of a Satellite Show Programme – curated by Jewgeni Roppel. The projects displayed reflect a broad range of conceptual photography, documentary and reportage and do contemplate social, historical as well as personal and political transformations.

Photographers: Arnis Balcus Alena Zhandarova Andrey Sosnin Anna Ehrenstein Diana Lelonek Dmitry Lookianov George Nebieridze Igor Samolet Jacek Fota Jakob Schnetz Jewgeni Roppel Julia Borissova Lesya Pchelka Łukasz Rusznica Maja Wirkus & Eric Pries Marat Dilman Maria Sturm Masha Svyatogor Mila Teshaieva Natela Grigalashvili Niels Ackermann Olga Matveeva Piotr Zbierski Rafal Milach Viacheslav Poliakov Wiktoria Wojciechowska —

Künstlerhaus Vorwerk-Stift Vorwerkstr.21 20357 Hamburg Deutschland

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 The series has been realized in Yakutsk, in the far east of Russia – the coldest city in the world. Solely, this superlative gives birth to images in someone ́s mind, images of bleakness, exotic, maybe even archaic.

“Lenin lives! Lenin is with you!” Since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, this hymn has been more than an ever-present slogan. Throughout the 20th century, the  figure of the revolutionary leader was omnipresent. But as Russia prepares to celebrate the centennial of the October Revolution, Ukraine, the other pillar of the Soviet Empire, will have none of him. Summum of decommunization: as of late 2016, none of the 5,500 statues that formerly dotted the territory is still standing.

According to ancient legends, vampires appeared on the Earth at the same time as the first people. They changed, mutating and imitating. If we interpret vampirism wider than a myth about aristocratic bloodsuckers, we may assume that each of us carries an element which, unrevealed up to a certain time, is able to turn any human into a savage monster. 

This story is about those of us with whom life just happens. It takes place when the connection between cause and consequence is no longer coherent.  I am documenting a naïve visual subculture of a public space, which has become widely spread throughout Ukraine after a fall of the Soviet Union faced globalization.

Four months in Kyrgyzstan, portraying this country on the outskirts of global headlines with a large format camera, through faces and landscapes. This work highlights the generational disparities between those nostalgic of an abolished USSR order and modern westernized youths born after the fall.

In this series I have concerned myself with the way that history and memory are perceived through images.

I explore a way of creating content around the photos through their physical presence as objects, connecting them with natural elements, thus highlighting their temporality. These flowers and petals mark the present, but at the same time they are a very powerful vanitas symbol. Black-and-white photographs ‘mean’ a different era; they are a visual analogy of the idea of memory slipping away with time. The concept of this work is fragility and disappearance.

When we are young, we want to be adventurous, we want to explore the world, see new places, try to live differently for once and be far from our home.

Caves are prevalent images in the world of myths, legends and cults. Early humans used to live in caves before they start to developed their living spaces. The cave symbolise humans archetype of housing. In the series caves & spaceships I search for intersections between nature and the primal and new architecture of post-soviet time and Saakashvili era in Georgia and compare the contrast between ancient natural surface and future-oriented forms which stays as a symbol for progression, longings for the future and the European accession.

My mother was born in the beginning of World War II in a small village. By this time her father was already in war, from where he didn’t return. She was ten years old when her mother died. She was hit by a train. I remember her saying once: “I was at school, in the middle of the lesson, one of my classmates opened the classroom door and yelled: Keto, your mother is dead”.  Since then she was raised by her brothers and their wives. I don’t know much about her childhood, because she didn’t like to speak about it. I only have fragments, those I’ve gathered through the years, randomly said by her or her relatives.