April 22, 2007 - Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci - ANASTASIA KHOROSHILOVA, ISLANDERS 2003-2006
April 22, 2007


Anastasia Khoroshilova, Untitled (Toy #1), 2006 Color Print, 120×94 cm, courtesy Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna

ISLANDERS 2003-2006

Prato, 24 March-20 May 2007

Opening 24 March, 5 pm

Exhibition curated by Stefano Pezzato

Centro per larte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
Viale della Repubblica 277 Prato Italy
Open daily 10am-7pm, closed Tuesday
Entrance: free
For information: tel. 39 0574 5317

The Centro per larte contemporanea Luigi Pecci is pleased to present Islanders 2003-2006, the first solo show in Italy of the Russian photographer Anastasia Khoroshilova.

A selection of 27 works, from four different series, will be displayed as a special project in the Theatre Room.

The young Russians photographed by Khoroshilova in their surroundings (rooms, corridors, gyms) or against neutral backgrounds (anonymous interiors, gardens) are automatically transposed to a general level of abstraction. The meetings Khoroshilova set up, on her trips to Russia during and after her years studying at Duisburg/Essen University, have a documentary objectivity: the essential characteristics of samples of subjects in spontaneous poses that are never pre-established, facing the camera.

Khoroshilovas portraits are immediately recognisable on account of the uniform: trainee dancers at the State Academy of Choreography (2003), young fighters at the gym Sambo 70 (2005) or young women in military uniform of 9.5% Plus (2005). They are members of institutions/symbols that echo a recent past of glorious achievement, success and power, now reduced to the role of Islanders, whose individual life begins where their collective identity ends; their identity is inexhorably fixed, as in photography, in the present. Not knowing anything about their personal lives, nor what their future holds, they appear to us to be clinging to the certainty of belonging, to the protection of the group and of history.

In the portraits of the last series Toys (2006) uniform is flanked by the presence of toys or games which reveal the simple child-like side of the subjects. The playful dimension on which the portraits draw, without the photographer suggesting as much, is the only possibility that the subjects possess to construct an identity, to be themselves.

In the private relationship with her subject, Khoroshilova records the person in front of her lens without passing judgment of any kind or resorting to lyricism or sentimentality. It is rather that her photographs tend to reveal the paradox that the subject of her portraits coincides with the function or the place in which they are set, but behind this lies hidden great humanity suffused with emotions, needs, desires, fears, suffering and hope. There is no evidence of all this in the photography, only a latent evocation.

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue (Italian/English) with essay by the curator, Stefano Pezzato. Published by Centro per larte contemporanea Luigi Pecci.

Anastasia Khoroshilova, born in 1978 in Moscow, actually lives in Cologne.
Member in The Russian Union of Art Photographers since 1997, she graduated at the Photographic Department – University Duisburg/Essen.
She had solo shows at Ernst Hilger Gallery, Vienna; Fucares Gallery, Madrid; Museum Sacharov-Center, Moscow; Bumpodo Gallery, Tokyo; Klementinum, Prague; Corkin Shopland Gallery, Toronto; The State Russian Museum (Marble Palace), St. Petersburg.

Exhibition tour
Kunsthalle Lingen, 22 July 23 September 2007

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
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