FOTOFEST 2012 BIENNIAL FotoFest Exhibitions

Liberalization and Experimentation - The mid/late 1980s-2010s

FotoFest at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter St,Houston, Texas and
FotoFest at Spring St. Studios, 1824 Spring St, Houston, Texas

Alexander Gronsky, Untitled, 2009. From the series The Edge. Courtesy of the artist.
The mid/late 1980s and the 1990s were a period of profound transition for the Soviet Union. The well-known reform movements Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (economic restructuring) changed the country irrevocably and ultimately set the stage for the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These movements vastly expanded the cultural openings of the previous decades. The 1980s and 1990s brought about the dissolution of state censorship and extraordinary opportunities were created for an open examination of Soviet and Russian society. The 1990s were a decade of unregulated capitalist growth that created a class of newly affluent business people and consumers of mass culture.

Photography and other art forms saw a burst of creative energy and multi-faceted experimentalism that moved in many different directions. The first years of Perestroika were marked by hope. Artists not only re-interpreted all aspects of Soviet political language and life, but they also often moved art into non-traditional spaces, bringing it directly to the public. Later, with the ensuing political and economic chaos of the mid 1990s, artists became more openly critical, confronting traditional Soviet mores and parodying the external realities of Soviet-Russian life and ideology. In the early 21st century, as the heady and often violent conditions of change began to stabilize, many artists turned toward aesthetic and metaphysical explorations of photography itself. It was a twenty-five year period of remarkable diversity and creativity in Russian photography.

The two Perestroika exhibitions are the largest of the Russian presentations at the FotoFest 2012 Biennial. They present a number of internationally-known Russian artists.

Featured artists include:

Yury Babich
Nikolay Bakharev
Andrey Bezukladnikov
Gennady Bodrov
Sergey Bratkov
Yury Brodsky
Vladimir Brylyakov
Vita Buivid
Olga Chagaoutdinova
Valera and Natasha Cherkashin
Alexander Chernogrivov
Olga Chernyshova
Andrey Chezhin
Sergey Chilikov
Oleg Dou
Vladislav Efimov
Alexey Goga
Alexander Gronsky

Vadim Gushchin 
Francisco Infante
Alexander Kitaev
Stas Klevak
Viktor Kochetov
Georgy Kolosov
Alexey Kolmykov
Yury Kozyrev
Nikolay Kulebyakin
Igor Kultyshkin
Vladimir Kupriyanov
Alexey Kuzmichev
Lyalya Kuznetsova
Mikhail Ladeishchikov
Sergey Leontiev
Alexander Lapin
Tatiana Liberman
Gregory Maiofis
Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe

Nikita Mashkin
Sergey Maximishin
Boris Mikhailov,
Vladimir Mogilevsky
Evgeny Mokhorev
Galina Moskaleva
Igor Mukhin
Timur Novikov
Anton Olshvang
Sergey Osmachkin
Rita Ostrovskaya
Evgeny Pavlov
Ilya Piganov
Andrey Polushkin
Svyatoslav Ponomarev
Roman Pyatkovka
Mark Rozov
Alexander Samoilov
Igor Savchenko 

Vladimir Semin
Vladimir Shakhlevich
Alexey Shulgin
Valery Shchekoldin
Alexander Slusarev
Boris Smelov
Pavel Smertin
Alexey Titarenko
Olga Tobreluts
Oleg Videnin
Alexander Viktorov
Alik Yakubovich
Alexander Yakut
Evgeny Yufit


Valera and Natasha Cherkashin, From the installation The Fall of Empire, 1994-1997. Courtesy of the artists
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