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Moscow - Paris. Igor Mukhin's Photography

03 December 2003 - 25 January 2004
The Stroganov Palace

The exhibition presents two series of works by Igor Mukhin, an interesting Russian photographer. "Moscow-Paris" project reveals unique atmosphere of either megapolis. At the same time, the author emphasises common problems of citizens, especially those of Russian and French young people. Igor Mukhin created his first works in the mid 1980s. It was the time when Soviet Underground art first appeared openly in Russia and became popular among western art-institutions. Owning to such representatives of the new generation of Russian artists as A.Rodchenko, V.Ignatovich, and A.Shaikhet, Russian photomodernism of the 1920-30s was rediscovered abroad. In Russia, all kinds of modern art were changing so quickly that photography seemed rather inert. However, works of certain authors exceeded the bounds of traditional camera journalism. Igor Mukhin, along with I.Kabakov, E.Bulatov, G.Bruskin, demythifies Soviet reality, using various schemas of modern art, especially those of the most powerfull trend of the Russian Underground - Social Art. Mukhin possesses an inborn ability to find and show in his photographs energetics of a social space and a certain man. This allowed him in his Moscow 1996-2000 series to create a bright and inwardly dramatical image of Russia and its capital at the turn of the 21st century. It is rather different characters than city objects that the photographer is interested in. He reproduces the unique atmosphere and style of the city in beat of the sixties. In 1999 Igor Mukhin received a scholarship of the Paris city in the context of the Artists Exchange Programme held by mayoralties of Moscow and Paris. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture of France gives him a grant to make photographs of French young people for a project dated for celebration of the third millennium. A work in Paris became a kind of test for the photographer, since Paris is the most "photogenic" city in the world and has a very strong tradition based on hundreds of brilliant works of great photographers. This makes it especially difficult to find one's own approach and intonation. Igor Mukhin showed himself able to make another step in photo-chronicle of the great city, to record the last moments of the previous millennium in his own way. Igor Mukhin's photo series have been shown at Moscow "Photobiannual", "The Month of Photography" in Paris, photo festival in the Netherlands and Biannual exhibition in Bratislava. Mukhin projects have been exhibited in such galleries as "Carre Noir" (Paris) and "The Camera Obscura Gallery" (the USA). His photographs can be found in collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the European House of Photography (Paris), the National Fund of Contemporary Art (Paris), and other museums.