Russian Palimpsest
Project info

Russian Palimpsest is an ongoing photographic exploration of the contemporary post-Soviet inhabited landscape. I am focusing on the everyday visual culture of our cities undergoing a transition from the Communist Utopia to some homebrew version of consumerist Capitalism.
At the same time, I am trying to bring out all the influences – from pre-1917 and Soviet-era postcards and albums of views to New Topographics, Google Street View and real estate ads – that help define today's visual language through which to look at and make sense of our
landscape.

Strange as it is, Russia has long been at loss for a calm, detached representation of itself, with the 'Russian image' still being often over-politicised or over-romanticised, that is, mystified. Deadpan aesthetics that I am using allows my documentary photographic vision to go beyond these two opposite perceptions and to demystify the representation, in some way.

The post-Utopian condition of our society suggests a need for the active post-Soviet individual to assert even such basic things as a right to look at one's own country from a private perspective, as a subject discarding ideological and quasi-religious constructs imposed upon his vision by the State. In this sense, my photograpic exploration is, it seems, also a metaphoric appropriation / privatization of the viewpoint. I'm especially feeling it when I am photographing from an elevated bridge or some high ground – something virtually unthinkable as little back as twenty years ago, just as landscape photography itself was impossible as a separate subject matter.

All photographs are captioned with the name of the place, date and exact geographical coordinates suggesting an open-ended diary-cum-catalog and highlighting the already inseparable connection between our landscape and the media space.