Fear, Bread and Faith
The exposition “Fear, Bread and Faith” (a quote from Andrey Platonov’s diaries) presents the works of Russian chronicle photography of 1920-1930s, which bear resemblance to Platonov’s plots and character types.
Andrey Platonov’s life journey was accompanied by revolutions, wars, hunger, cold and devastation. Labor and dreams, romantic creativity and electricity, mechanics and soul are all the writer’s favourite topics. All of his “innermost men” exist in such atmosphere. His main characters always resemble the writer himself: an electrician, digger, engine driver, engineer and meliorator - in a word, “a workman”.
The exposition is based on “The country is not complete without me…” exhibition, which took place in Moscow in 2010. Victor Molchanov was the author and curator of the exposition. The Russian Union of Art Photographers and Platonov Arts Festival are going to recreate this exposition in Voronezh. “We have not tried to illustrate Platonov’s prose with the help of photography. It is impossible. Our exposition is more like a photographic essay or a photographic memorandum about Platonov’s epoch. The center of the exposition is Platonov, a Russian citizen at his best and a thinking creator of the country”, – Victor Molchanov says.
The exposition presents 44 photographs from the collections of the Russian Union of Art Photographers, the archives of Soviet photographers Mark Markov-Grinberg and Arkady Shaikhet, the artistic group “Kamenny Poyas” (The Stone Belt), Chelyabinsk.
Mark Markov-Grinberg (1907 – 2006) was a photo reporter for “Ogonyok” (“Spark”) and “Smena” (“Relief”) magazines, worked for the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), photographed the construction of Dneproges (The Dnieper Hydroelectric Station), the organization of the first collective farms (kolkhozy), famous writers such as Maxim Gorky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw, innovator miners Alexey Stakhanov and Nikita Izotov, famous pilots Valery Chkalov and Polina Osipenko.
Mark Markov-Grinberg participated in a great number of photography exhibitions. His works were exhibited in Australia, Germany, France, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Singapore, Hungary, Romania, Poland and other countries.
Arkady Shaikhet (1898 – 1959) was a photo reporter for “Rabochaya Gazeta” (“Newspaper for Workmen”), “Ogonyok” (“Spark”) and “USSR na Stroike” (“USSR in Construction”). His works are exhibited all over the world, including the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum Ludwig in Koln and others. Arkady Shaikhet had his solo exhibitions in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the State Russian Museum, Zurab Tsereteli’s Art Gallery and Moscow House of Photography.
Photographs presented by the artistic group “Kamenny Poyas” (The Stone Belt) were selected from among family archives and were first used in a 4-volume edition dedicated to the history of Chelyabinsk Region (“Photographs of Chelyabinsk Region” 1900-2000).
Photographs of that epoch show workers and peasant women. These are the people of hard fate, as they had to bring to life the grand social experiment, which involved not only the South Urals but the country at large.