Boris Mikhailov "Case History"

The Museum of Modern Art

poster for Boris Mikhailov "Case History"

This event has ended.

Ukrainian-born Boris Mikhailov (b. 1938) is one of the leading photographers from the former Soviet Union. For over 30 years, he has explored the position of the individual within the historical mechanism of public ideology, touching on subjects such as Ukraine under Soviet rule, the living conditions in post-communist Eastern Europe, and the fallen ideals of the Soviet Union. This exhibition features Mikhailov’s seminal series "Case History" (1997–98), the first time this important body of work has been shown in depth in a U.S. museum. Set against the bleak backdrop of the industrial city of Kharkov, Mikhailov’s life-size color photographs explore the deeply troubling circumstances of people who have been left homeless and poverty-stricken by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mikhailov recalled the experience of returning to Kharkov some years after the collapse of communism: “Devastation had stopped. The city had acquired an almost modern European center. Much had been restored... But I was shocked by the big number of homeless (before they had not been there). The rich and the homeless—- the new classes of a new society—- this was, as we had been taught, one of the features of capitalism.” Capturing this new reality with poetry, clarity, and grit, Mikhailov’s pictures are among the most haunting documents of the post-Soviet urban condition.

[Image: Boris Mikhailov "Untitled, from the series 'Case History'" (1997–98) Chromogenic color print 58 7/16 x 39 3/16 in. The Museum of Modern Art. Acquired through the generosity of Howard Stein. © 2011 Boris Mikhailov]



from May 26, 2011 to September 05, 2011


Boris Mikhailov

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