Post-Soviet Visions: image and identity in the new Eastern Europe is a group show of photography curated by Ekow Eshun and Anastasiia Fedorova, exploring new visual representations of lifestyle and landscape in Eastern Europe. The exhibition gathers the work of a young generation of artists rising to prominence a quarter century after the end of Communism.
The photographers in Post-Soviet Visions come from Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Although the personal circumstances of the photographers born in Eastern Europe differ, they share a common past with either they, or their parents, growing up in countries that once existed under Communist rule. Today, they live within the globally connected modern world where borders of East and West are erased by new technologies. But the physical traces of the past can be seen in work such as Jedrzej Franek’s dizzying shots of Polish tower blocks and Michal Korta’s striking black and white images of Brutalist buildings in Skopje, Macedonia.
Following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and the end of its influence over its satellite states, the countries of the former Eastern Bloc have each forged their own paths. In artworks such as Hassan Kurbanbaev’s portraits of teenagers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and David Meskhi’s photos of skater kids in Georgia, Post-Soviet Visionscaptures the new identities emerging across the region. Instead of old binaries of East vs West, socialist vs capitalist, their images capture a generation shaped by issues that are personal rather than the political; by questions of sexuality, gender and style.