Boris Mikhaïlov, the heartbreaking Ukraine in the lens


Photograph taken from the “Red” series, which includes photos taken in Kharkiv between 1968 and 1975. For Boris Mikhaïlov, red symbolizes the hold of communist ideology on Ukrainian society. Boris Mikhailov, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

CRITICISM - The European House of Photography is organizing the first retrospective in France of this Berlin photographer, born in Kharkiv in 1938. With its "Ukrainian Journal", it immerses us in an ocean of images, where Soviet dogma finds its antiheroes .

Boris Mikhaïlov dances on the walls of the metro, like a crazy happy Bulgakov in The Master and Margarita (1940). To the right of the whimsical self-portrait in modest black and white, a photo of the poor bent over the cold Ukrainian streets that the color, brought by soft tints, transforms into small symbolic characters, like illuminated letters. In two images and a poster, here is the very particular world of Boris Mikhaïlov, dazzling poet of the image born in 1938 in Kharkov in Ukraine, then Kharkov in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Until September 25, the Festival Images Vevey, in Switzerland, presents its “Yesterday’s Sandwich” series, which brings together superimposed images from the late 1960s and 1970s in 10 minutes 14 seconds. The artist combines military processions, ordinary scenes and female nudes, scrutinizing the influence of the Soviet totalitarian regime on everyday life. On October 14, the Pinault collection will present his series “At Dusk”…

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