Boris Mikhailov’s solo exhibition

Art Hall gallery

Boris Mikhailov‘s first photo series date back to the 1970s and 1980s and they are characterised by the critical satire for the Soviet regime. After the collapse of the Empire, he has documented the poverty and social problems in Ukraine. But Mikhailov’s works are not classified as classic documentary – they are staged works with leading characters from life itself.

The exhibition in Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, curated by photo artist Tanja Muravskaja, includes the artist’s well-known series I Am Not I and The Wedding. In series I Am Not I (1993–2002), consisting of 14 works, the artist appears as a nude in ancient positions. By such a gesture, he makes fun both on himself and the portrayal of masculinity in general.

The Wedding (2005–2006) is a kind of a follow-up for series Case History (1997–1998), in which Mikhailov portrays homeless people in Kharkov. The artist has commented on the relationship between documentary and staged work as follows: “Documentary cannot be truth. Documentary pictures are one-sided, only one part of the conversation. For Case History, old documentary methods weren’t possible – it was important and necessary for me to find new methods to show this life [of homeless].”

Boris Mikhailov (1938) was born in Kharkov, Ukraine. He received an education as engineer and started to teach himself the practice of photography. Today he is one of the most successful and well-known photographers who already was actively working in Soviet times. His works are influenced by Conceptual Art and Social documentary photography.
Mikhailov has been awarded the Hasselblad Award (2000), Citybank Photography Prize (2001) and several book prizes. He has had exhibitions in important art institutions all over the world – in ICA Boston, Photography Museum in Winterthur, Switzerland, Saatchi Gallery and Tate Modern in London.
In 2007, he was representing Ukraine in Venice Biennale. In this Summer, a solo show of Mikhailov was open in MoMa, New York.
His breakthrough came with the series Case History, published as a book in 1999, documenting the terrible and desperate conditions of the homeless in the late 1990s after in the post-Soviet Ukraina.
Mihhailov is represented by Barbara Weiss Gallery.

Tanja Muravskaja (1978) is an Estonian artist of Ukrainian origin. Muravskaja was born in Pärnu, she lives and works in Tallinn. She has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts (MA in Photography, 2010) and studied at the Westminster University in London (2004–2005).
The main medium explored by her is photography. In her works, she plays with fashion and commercial world, she also refers to problems connected with construction of national identity, everyday policy and formulating social messages.
Her latest solo exhibitions include: Positions, Linnagalerii, Tallinn (2007); The Ones Who Sang Together, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn (2008); Monuments – with Marge Monko, Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn (2008); Lucky Losers, Linnagalerii, Tallinn (2009). Latest group exhibitions include Consequences and Proposals, The Biennale of Young Artists, Tallinn (2007); 6th International Festival of Experimental Art, Exhibition Centre Maneż, St. Petersburg (2008); QUI VIVE? 1st Moscow International Biennial for Young Art, National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2008); Space Oddity. Exhibition of Young Baltic Artists, Maison Folie Wazemmes, Lille (2009).

22 September 2011, at 18:00


22 September 2011 – 16 October 2011


Art Hall gallery


Vabaduse väljak 8, Tallinn



More info

+372 6 442 907


Tanja Muravskaja


Boris Mihhailov