Igor Moukhin: My Moscow at the RUSSIANTEAROOM Gallery

© Igor Moukhin, Jeunes de la grande ville, Moscou, 1987

© Igor Moukhin, Jeunes de la grande ville, Moscou, 1987

RUSSIANTEAROOM gallery presents the solo exhibition of the Russian photographer Igor MOUKHIN, one of today’s best known contemporary Russian photographers, untitled « My Moscow». 30 black and white images retrace his vision of his native city since the 90s until today. For the first time in Europe, his book « My Moscow », published by Schilt publishing will be also presented during the opening of the show on March 12, in the presence of the artist.

Photography in post-Soviet Russia, just as its citizens, had to reinvent itself and find its own path under constant pressure. The task was, and is still not easy: how can one find the balance between the right market and financial constraints with the search for truth, sincerity, so deeply rooted in Moukhin’s own nature?

Igor Moukhin, like many others, was part of a club of amateurs of photography, one of these passionate gatherings, as there were thousands at the time in the USSR. For years, with low budget equipment, homemade labs and a lot of passion, people gathered to make pictures, chat and share their love of photography, in almost total ignorance of what was happening elsewhere. With that love, they managed to capture life, family or friends. The immediate barrier that stands between the subject and the photographer, especially in Russia where you distrust involved “foreigners” who harass you for an image, fades when it comes with an amateur photographer. It is this attitude, this love, this close relation between the photographer and the person he’s taking a picture of that Moukhin has managed to preserve while becoming a professional photographer.

When we take a look at these pictures, we feel that he’s amongst these people, he feels what they live and transmits it, with a vision, sometimes tender, sometimes mocking, committed but never indifferent.

Igor Moukhin is the most celebrated witness of the Perestroika period. A time when hope was allowed, when everything seemed to be possible and where communist values mingled with the deep Russian nature and the glitters of capitalism, in an awkward way.

But after hope came the harsh reality of post-Soviet regime ; in the streets the mood changed, became denser, like the water in the pipes: blackish hatred, tensions, naked bodies, spirits, the absurdity of the Moscow existence appeared on the photographs and stayed for good.

“My Moscow” - the title of the exhibition means a lot while saying little.
It means, I was born in Moscow, I survived from it therefore I can allow myself anything. Moscow is not a town like any other Russian cities, It is a city whithin the city, populated by a minority of Muscovites and millions of others from elsewhere, who came in waves. These human waves sink, display, overflow, and carry with them the individual as the history. The sea of people in a hurry, anxious, tired, absorbs every day the new victims of its indifference and uniformity.

But the crowd in Igor Moukhin’s photographs, depending on climatic-political conditions, has various faces: anonymous and neutral, like a stream flowing over freshly washed sidewalks, angry and engaged, in the protests against or for their leaders ; drunk and without limits, under the influence of celebrations, often alcoholic.

As if he was making a very long movie about Moscow, a movie lasting several decades, his way of taking pictures reminds us of cinema. Every image, every moment of this long film, be it decisive, discrete or loud, tells all at once a moment in a human life, of a loved one, a friend, a hard time or a hopeless change….”

Venue: Russian Tea Room Gallery, 42 rue Volta, 75003 Paris

Open: 12th March - 12th May 2013

For more information please visit: http://rtrgallery.com

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