Post-Soviet Visions: image and identity in the new Eastern Europe is on now at Calvert 22 Foundation.
The group show of photography explores new visual representations of lifestyle and landscape in Eastern Europe.
It gathers the work of a young generation of artists rising to prominence a quarter century after the end of Communism.
Curated by Ekow Eshun and Anastasiia Fedorova, the exhibition is on until Sunday, April 15.
The photographers in Post-Soviet Visions come from Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Although the personal circumstances of the photographers born in Eastern Europe differ, they share a common past.
Either they, or their parents, grew up in countries that once existed under Communist rule.
Today, they live within the globally connected modern world where borders of East and West are erased by new technologies.
But the physical traces of the past can be seen in work such as Jedrzej Franek’s dizzying shots of Polish tower blocks and Michal Korta’s striking black and white images of Brutalist buildings in Skopje, Macedonia.
Following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and the end of its influence over its satellite states, the countries of the former Eastern Bloc have each forged their own paths.
In artworks such as Hassan Kurbanbaev’s portraits of teenagers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and David Meskhi’s photos of skater kids in Georgia, Post-Soviet Visions captures the new identities emerging across the region.
Instead of old binaries of East vs West, socialist vs capitalist, their images capture a generation shaped by issues that are personal rather than the political; by questions of sexuality, gender and style.
The artists taking part are:
- Armen Parsadanov
- David Meskhi
- Dima Komarov
- Genia Volkov
- Grigor Devejiev
- Hassan Kurbanbaev
- Ieva Raudsepa
- Jędrzej Franek
- Masha Demianova
- Michal Korta
- Patrick Bienert and Max von Gumppenberg
- Paulina Korobkiewicz
- Pavel Milyakov
Limited edition prints
To celebrate the exhibition, Calvert 22 Foundation has produced a limited edition run of 50 prints from Moscow-based multidisciplinary artist Pavel Milyakov’s 2014 work Orehovo.
He originally made his name as the underground music producer Buttechno and is a long-term collaborator of designer Gosha Rubchinskiy.
Milyakov has composed the soundtrack to a number of Rubchinskiy’s fashion shows, adding an extra layer of depth to the designer’s artistic explorations of new Russian identity.
At the same time, Milyakov’s artistic practice encompasses video, design and visual art.
His artwork Orehovo (2014) is a manipulated image of Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565) with tower blocks rising from the natural landscape.
The skilful visual intervention serves as a commentary on post-Soviet urban space and the familiar presence of the apartment building in that environment.
Prints, priced £30 each, are available from the Calvert Bookshop, 22 Calvert Avenue, London.
The exhibition is on Wednesday to Sunday, midday to 6pm, until April 15 at Calvert 22 Foundation.
Entrance is free of charge.
Spectrum Photographic is the print sponsor.
Paulina Korobkiewicz is taking over our Instagram account this week.
A selection of her Disco Polo images form part of the exhibition.