At the recent Photo-London exposition, the work of Simon Roberts stood out, for me, as some of the freshest and most honest work in the show. Roberts and his wife traveled throughout Russia between July 2004 and July 2005, making pictures in over 200 locations and creating one of the most extensive, comprehensive photographic accounts of this vast country by a Westerner.
His book, Motherland, follows his journey chronologically (using a map of his journey as its contents page). The photographs are accompanied by quotes by literary and political figures that have shaped Russia's modern identity, illuminating the historical ideals of Holy Rus and the concept of 'the Motherland', as well as Roberts’ own extended informative captions.
The book’s introduction by Russian literature expert Rosamund Bartlett provides a context for the photographs, by presenting and discussing the concept of ‘the Motherland’ within Russian history.
We are pleased to present 30 images from this new book here, as well as a 24-minute audio interview for Lens Culture,
In the interview, Simon Roberts talks about his year-long adventure traversing the country of Russia, and how his formal study of geography informed his approach to representation in photography. Lots more, too.
Then, go out and enjoy the book, for all of its added detail and information — it's an important piece of history happening right now.
— Jim Casper
Photos and text by Simon Roberts
Introduction by Rosamund Bartlett
Hardcover: 191 pages, 152 photos
Publisher: Chris Boot, 2007