Post-Soviet Visions: Image and identity in the new Eastern Europe gathers the work of a young generation of artists rising to prominence a quarter of a century after the end of Communism. Furthermore, it takes place at a time when the term ‘post-Soviet’ has become a byword for bold, innovative creativity in cultural fields – from high fashion to film.
The photographers to be showcased come from Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Although the personal circumstances of the photographers born in Eastern Europe differ, they share a common past with either they, or their parents, growing up in countries that once existed under Communist rule. Today, they live within the globally connected modern world where borders of East and West are erased by new technologies.
However, the physical traces of the past can still be seen in work such as Jedrzej Franek’s dizzying shots of Polish tower blocks and Michal Korta’s striking black and white images of Brutalist buildings in Skopje, Macedonia.
Following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and the end of its influence over its satellite states, the countries of the former Eastern Bloc have each forged their own paths. In artworks such as Hassan Kurbanbaev’s portraits of teenagers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and David Meskhi’s photos of skater kids in Georgia, Post-Soviet Visions captures the new identities emerging across the region.
Instead of old binaries of East Vs West, Socialist Vs Capitalist, their images capture a generation shaped by issues that are personal rather than political; by questions of sexuality, gender and style.
Post-Soviet Visions is curated by Ekow Eshun, Creative Director of Calvert 22 Foundation, and freelance writer and curator Anastasiia Fedorova. It runs from 23 February – 15 April 2018 at Calvert 22 Space, London. Find out more at calvert22.org.