MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW
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Valery Nistratov
Archaic

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017 Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Valery Nistratov. From the project ‘Archaic’. 2015-2017

Moscow, 12.04.2018—27.05.2018

exhibition is over

Central exhibition hall Manege

1, Manege Square (show map)
www.moscowmanege.ru

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As part of the Photobiennale 2018
As part of the Photobiennale 2018

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XII INTERNATIONAL MONTH OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN MOSCOW ‘PHOTOBIENNALE 2018’

VALERY NISTRATOV
Archaic

Curator: Anna Zaitseva

Valery Nistratov is one of the most prominent contemporary Russian photographers and teacher of ‘Documentary Photography’ at the Rodchenko School of Photography. His works have been exhibited in Russia, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, USA, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, China, and published in Time, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Ojo de Pez and many other publications.

‘Archaic’ is Nistratov’s new project on which he worked in 2015–2017. The author describes it as follows: ‘Over the last few years elements of the archaic have become increasingly apparent in various spheres of Russian life, which are hard to explain in terms of the generally accepted ideas about modern society. A new wave of fascination with mythology has brought to the surface more and more archetypes and phenomena from the world of the past. In combining the ancient with the present day, a bizarre symbiosis is formed, which, in my opinion, exerts an influence on the mentality and behaviour of modern Russian people.

Looking at a ‘fairytale’ map of Russia, I decided to travel to those places, within their real contours and outlines.

While on the road I re-read the memoirs of an oprichnik (life-guardsman of Tsar Ivan the Terrible) as well as Russian folk tales. My route took me through the village of the old witch Baba Yaga, the den of the Dragon Gorynych, the homeland of legendary warrior Dobrynya Nikitich, through simulacra and replicas, and places of chthonic power. My road passed through the small towns and villages of central Russia, whose infrastructure is still recognisable and clear. Modernity descended into the archaic, rocks and trees threw off my GPS navigator.
I stayed the night at a fantastic house where house-elves live and mermaids come in the night. I ate bread worth a thousand roubles, baked according to an ancient recipe, and visited a fake Ivan the Terrible style torture dungeon.

Cultural brands are visible everywhere you go in Russia. The wonders of our Motherland seem to multiply every year, spawning phenomena and events that are sometimes beyond the bounds of common sense or simply grotesque. In its ability to embody fantasy, art surely cannot compete with life.

For the new generation, waves of myth emerging onto the surface of modernity transform into trash. For me, they dissolve into a modern Russian fairytale, which, as a photographer, I find fascinating to observe from the inside.

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