Close and Far introduces some of Russia’s most original young voices – alongside the extraordinary work of a pre-revolutionary master whose work has only recently been rediscovered – to the UK public. The photography of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky reverberates through the exhibition like an echo from the past. A century later, his work is shown alongside some of Russia’s finest contemporary artists working in photography and video. Where Prokudin-Gorsky witnessed first-hand the effects of galloping Russian colonisation, as well as the early stirrings of industrialisation, today’s young artists are working in the aftermath of that empire’s collapse, grappling both with its past and with its future.
Artists to look out for include : her exquisite and tender portraits are shot in the style of turn-of-the-century village photography, informed by the shots of weddings, funerals and young love she found in people’s houses. ’s Pastoral (2008 – 2012) collapses town and country into one indeterminate toxic wasteland, where city dwellers find space for traditional leisure pursuits. Another one of our top picks is Kandinsky Prize winner ’s Mad Mimes – an anthropological mockumentary that produces multiple allegories about life and art in post-Soviet times.
Catch Close and Far at Calvert 22 Gallery until it closes on 17 August.
, 22 Calvert Avenue, London E2 7JP
Images courtesy of the artists and the gallery.