Moukhin Igor

Resistance 1989-2009

February 1 - February 20, 2010
At the opening
Text by Faina Balakhovskaya


Igor Moukhin is truly considered the best street photographer in Russia. However our streets are special – with two way traffic to the past and to the future. Photographer has met rebelloius youth and fainting monuments, sprouts of the new and longing for the past. It seems that for Moukhin – with his strong feeling of history’s turns and ability to see time shifts through the fight of light and shadow – reality is always ready to set into an almost perfect composition. All sorts of demonstrations, meetings, fighting of various groups of citizen against the everlasting repressive regime are no exception. At some point these dramatic events look too much photogenic, almost indecently romantic. Recent outbreaks of people’s anger fall apart into beautiful images with political seasoning. When public demonstrations, still allowed by the constitution, are declared outlaw again and again, this exhibition speaks “for our and your freedom”. Perplexed with the complex status of photography, we are afraid to believe our own eyes, even more our feelings.

With time passing, interpretations inevitably become more diversified, some images seem more impressive, almost cinematic effects of other images become emphatic. The unison welds multidirectional movements – ones oppose history, others resist the new order – but only at this exhibition. These images of the global resistance seem to lose their address through the last 20 years. However behind this almost movie dynamics we could see the confused history of the country of the last decades. We are not just the viewers, but coevals of these photographs, still alive images captured under dangerous conditions, with risks of broken camera or damage to the health of photographer and his heroes. Therefore it’s quite improper to appraise formal values of these photographs. Showing three hundred images in a long ribbon prevents from examining each and every frame. Anyway resistance turns into a show. But it still burns like potato snatched from the campfire. We feel the country, our country.