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Leading Russian and Eastern European Artists to Exhibit at Calvert 22
Anna Jermolaewa, Untitled (Good Times, Bad Times) (2007). Photograph (3 parts in one framed work). Courtesy of the artist.

LONDON.- Calvert22 will present Photo I, Photo You, the fourth exhibition at the contemporary art space in Shoreditch. Curated by Iara Boubnova, the exhibition will present works by leading Russian and Eastern European artists who invite the viewer to reconsider, revisit and rediscover what they think they know through a series of mixed media works.

What is known as Eastern Europe, the countries that made up the old Soviet Union together with the former Yugoslavia and East Germany, is no longer seen as the infamous site of the failed Russian Empire but more as an extension of the West. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern Europe perhaps seems to have forsaken the right to be interesting as a geopolitical whole. What used to be Eastern Europe’s defining factor, Socialism and belonging or not belonging to the Soviet sphere of influence, is what makes a revisiting of the region and its ideologies most interesting for these artists, for whom their experience has inevitably informed their practice.

Photo I, Photo You aims to trigger a double-take on the East of Europe, focusing on artworks by leading contemporary artists whose origin and inspiration come from the region, and who lead us to reconsider what is presented. These works allow the viewer to recognise what they might think they know in a new way. In this way, nothing is obvious, nothing is what is seems to be, and nothing is how we thought it would be when we first looked at it.

Through photography, video, found and ready-made objects, the artists in Photo I, Photo You use means that maintain close links to reality and its people, locations and buildings. In so doing, they find a lighter and more delicate context for concrete impressions and experiences.

‘We tend to see the other in terms of cliché, established patterns of habit or random memories from the guidebooks or the media, yet most of the things in the world that we think we know, in fact demand a second glance. The known demands attention just as much as the unknown.’ Iara Boubnova.

Exhibiting artists: Olga Chernysheva, Igor Eskinja, Anna Jermolaewa, Vikenti Komitski, Ján Mančuška, Kiril Prashkov, Anri Sala and Nebojša Šerić Shoba.

Iara Boubnova
Iara Boubnova is a curator and art critic. Since 1984 she has been Curator of the Department for East European Art at the National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia. In 1995 she founded the Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia.

In 2009 Boubnova curated “From Ideology to Economy. Bulgarian Contemporary Art 20 Years Later” at the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, Moscow (with Maria Vassileva); “Common History and its Personal Stories”, at MUSA, Vienna; and “Liquid Frontiers” as a part of “Europe XXL” in Lille.

Previously she co-curated “History in Present Tense” as part of “Footnotes on Geopolitics, Market and Amnesia” at the 2nd Moscow Bienniale (2007); “Joy” at Casino Luxembourg and “Dialectics of Hope”, at the 1st Moscow Bienniale (both 2005); Manifesta 4, Frankfurt am Main (2002). She curated and organised the Bulgarian national participations at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999); the 3rd Biennial in Cetinje, Montenegro (1997); the 4th St. Petersburg Biennial (1996); the 4th Istanbul Biennial (1995); and the 22nd Sao Paulo Biennial (1994).

Calvert 22 | Photo I Photo You | Olga Chernysheva | Igor Eskinja | Iara Boubnova |

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