Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow | Exhibitions | Niels Ackermann - White angel

Niels Ackermann
White angel

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13 © Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

Moscow, 4.03.2017—9.04.2017

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Curator: Anna Zaytseva

Curator: Anna Zaytseva



For the press

As part of the 10th Moscow International Biennale ‘Fashion and Style in Photography 2017’ MAMM presents an exhibition by rising star of Swiss photography Niels Ackermann, a recipient of the major national prizes Swiss Photo Awards Best Reportage (2016) and Swiss Press Photo Photographer of the Year (2016) whose work has been nominated for the Prix Pictet (2016).

His White Angel project is the result of three years of work and thirteen trips to the Ukrainian city of Slavutych. The book of the same name was issued in 2016 by Swiss publisher Noir sur Blanc.

In April 2016 the world commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Instead of reminding us yet again of the overly photographed and reported consequences of the accident, Ackermann chose to look to the future. He photographed the young residents of Slavutych, Ukraine’s youngest city, over the course of three years. This city was born out of the catastrophe. The resolution to construct Slavutych as a purpose-built settlement for Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant personnel and their families was taken in 1986, eighteen months after the Chernobyl disaster. Eight Soviet republics participated in the construction work: the Russian SFSR and the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Georgian, Azerbaijan, Armenian and Ukrainian SSR. To this day the town plan for Slavutych, the city that arose from the forest in just two years, remains an inspiration to many European architects. Essentially Slavutych preserved the Soviet style, untouched by new trends and the ‘tokens of capitalism’.

There was mass settlement and development in the city from 1987 to 2000, but after 2000 the population rapidly diminished when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was finally shut down after a joint decision by the international community. At present only three thousand employees work in the plant, clearing radioactive material from the site and building a sarcophagus due for completion in 2017. So far there are no set plans for the future of this city.

After arriving to photograph the architecture, Ackermann became fascinated by the city’s history and the destiny of its young inhabitants, who comprise one third of the population. Today this city, evolved as the consequence of a man-made disaster and intended to become one of the last Soviet supra-national utopias, exists in an entirely new reality and its future is unclear. What awaits the children of the few remaining employees at the plant, for whom an entire city was built? The White Angel project seeks the answer to this question. This is how Ackermann describes his project: ‘The story documents the life of Yulia: a teenager I saw transforming into a young adult in front of my camera. As time passed by Yulia changed her occupations. From parties, drinks and short relationships to a married life with a job and serious responsibilities. She and her friends let me photograph them along this very crucial phase of life: the moment when we decide what we want to do of our life, where and with whom.’ The photographs included in the project are accompanied by brief yet pithy commentaries from the photographer and his subjects, where they reflect on their lives or tell us about themselves and their friends, their dreams and plans for the future.

With the support of:

Prohelvetia Посольство Швейцарии

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Profile magazine

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The Art Newspaper Russia

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1st Channel Snob RosPhoto The Vanderlust Russian pioner Courrier de Russie Iskusstvo Magazine DI