MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
MUSEUM "MOSCOW HOUSE OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
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Alexander Smirnov
Lokhovskoe village. Chronicles

Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov Alexander Smirnov.
From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 
2008. 
Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg.
© Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Alexander Smirnov. From “Lokhovskoye. Village chronicles” series. 2008. Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg. © Alexander Smirnov

Moscow, 28.03.2009—4.05.2009

exhibition is over

Zourab Tsereteli Gallery of Fine-Arts

19, Prechistenka street (show map)
opening hours: 12:00 - 20:00, Friday 12:00 - 22:00, Sunday 12:00 - 19:00, day off - Monday.
Tel: + 7 (495) 637-25-69

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Curator: Ekaterina Kondranina

Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg

Curator: Ekaterina Kondranina

Collection of the artist, Saint-Petersburg

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I remember to this day those exciting moments when I stood on the platform of a Moscow station as a child, impatiently waiting for the moment I could go to our reserved seats in the carriage and quickly occupy the upper berth nearest to the front of the train. Mama would warn in a stern voice that our trip to the country might well end there and then, before it even started. But I knew the conductor had collected our tickets, our things were stowed away in the luggage compartment and my father and I would soon begin the six-hour journey to Udomlya station, Kalininsky region. Once we left our parents far behind, granny Nyura kept a benign eye on us. We set off on our adventures, looking for trouble in the company of local lads and holidaymakers from the dachas.

Then my trips to the country were interrupted for eleven years! Eleven years of youth camps! Pioneer camps on the Karelian Isthmus: lining up for roll-call, reciting verses en masse, and my first glass of Agdam port. Summer sports camps with exhausting drill and nocturnal raids on the strawberry beds of neighbouring fruit farms before visits to the girls’ tents. Construction gangs with camp timetables and endless fields of turnips and discotheques at night.

In the summer of 1984 I had to go and fetch my sister from the countryside. No big deal, but it was like travelling back to my childhood. When the smells in the izba give you a lump in the throat, and you catch your breath on a stroll through the village, hearing voices behind you say: ‘The very image of his father — Alka!’ And you try to remember the names of your fellow countrymen as they watch you pass. You want to burst into tears, quite unashamedly.

Then another long gap of nine years when you never think of the Past, never glimpse the Future and walk the earth absorbed in Present realities.

In 1993 a friend of my father suggested I buy a delightful izba with the original furnishings, right on the river bank — a cottage in the village of Porozhki. And from that moment Lokhovskoye could begin again, a village just like Porozhki, lost in the wide open spaces of Tver province, and for me this will be a collective that unites country folk and town dwellers, inhabitants of Novgorod and Pskov...

Different people plan their vacation in different ways, but they are all impatient for it to begin. Relaxation in the countryside... Luxuriating on the sweating shelf in the banya till your head spins, then diving off the platform into the watery depths. Riding out to the heath to mow the grass, turning the apparently weightless hay until your back aches and your palms are covered with blisters, then falling asleep in the hayloft amid a cocktail of cut grasses... A never-ending list of tasks according to country lore, but you are a holidaymaker who can get by with the bare necessities, you can rest. Without a doubt childhood friends will turn up, meanwhile they tell you the news, the latest gossip. Or suggest you buy household utensils acquired from goodness knows where. Village festivities can begin for any reason. If someone plays a tune on the accordion outside your window, that’s enough to get started. Soon the merrymaking is in full swing, everyone goes wild...

A newsreel records events as they happen, it is never staged. But these events are projected through my inner world and this is my emotion, my commentary, called the ‘Lokhovskoye. Village Chronicles’.

Alexander Smirnov