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Bezhin Meadow (Bezhin Lug)
artist Anastasia Khoroshilova
year 2005
language(s) Russian, English, German
location  RUSSIA, Russian countryside (Kaluga, Novgorod, Smolenk regions)
region 4 West (West)
index no. 23.4.03
media Book
about the media Catalogue based on two solo exhibitions of photographs of the countryside of Russia and its inhabitants.
date of input:
about the project Anastasia Khoroshilova is one of the young Russian artists educated and first established abroad, who feel themselves organic parts of the international scene but who do not consider themselves emigrants. According to Viktor Misiano, who contributed a text to this publication, in the case of Khoroshilova this creates an acute personalism. Art as a form of self-analysis, a taking stock of her personal experience of society. At the same time she cultivated a cool objectivism in her work.
As is the case with 'Bezhin Meadow'. Like most of Khoroshilova´s recent work, it is made in Russia and is the fruit of deliberately undertaken trip, a research expedition, as it were. In exploring Russia´s remote villages however, she has no fixed expectations about what she will find: she simply wants to see and record.
The starting point of the works in this exhibition catalogue are three works which are characterised by the authors’ striving to understand the phenomenon posed by the world of the Russian peasant: Ivan Turgenev’s 'Notes of a Hunter', in particular his short story 'The Bezhin Meadow'; Sergei Eisensteins film 'The Bezhin Meadow', which was banned and destroyed by Stalin; Vladimir Sorokin’s novel simply entitled 'A Novel'. They were all created during a transitionary phase of Russian history which was replete with social contradictions.
It was never her intention however to produce one more version of 'the decline of the Russian countryside' , nor did she have the ambition of finding her own answer to the questions that disturbed Turgenev or Eisenstein. As she states herself in her introduction in the catalogue: “I simply wanted to make familiar and individually recognizable the faces of the people who have lived for generations in a special, often tragic dimension of the history and time of my country. I sought for at least a glimmer of human hope, honor and dignity. It was my good fortune to read it in their eyes and to hear in the words of the people whom I met along my way the lingering echo of their fate.”
organisations Goethe Institut/Galerie Condé (Paris) and Galerie Hilger Contemporary (Vienna)
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