Russia

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History Photography

Over 30,000 Negatives Discovered in Russian Artist’s Attic Reveal a Lifetime of Hidden Photography

March 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Russian artist and theater critic Masha Ivashintsova (1942-2000) lived a secret life as a photographer, taking over 30,000 photographs in her lifetime without ever showing a soul. It wasn’t until years after her death in 2000 that her daughter Asya Ivashintsova-Melkumyan stumbled upon her vast collection of negatives while cleaning out the attic. The photographs showcase an astounding look into the inner world of Ivashintsova, while also providing a glimpse of everyday life in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) from the 1960-1999.

Ivashintosova was heavily engaged in the city’s underground poetry and photography movement, yet never showed anyone her images, poetry, or personal writing during her lifetime. Ivashintsova-Melkumyan shares a quote from one of her mother’s diary entries that hints at the reasoning behind her hidden artistic life, “I loved without memory: is that not an epigraph to the book, which does not exist? I never had a memory for myself, but always for others.”

“I see my mother as a genius,” explains Ivashintsova-Melkumyan, “but she never saw herself as one—and never let anybody else see her for what she really was.”

Some have referred to Ivashintsova as the Russian Vivian Maier, an American photographer and caregiver whose extensive collection of negatives was discovered in Chicago after her death in 2009. A group of close family friends are working to scan the entirety of Ivashintsova’s life’s work. You can view more of her recently discovered images on this website and Instagram specifically created to share her legacy. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Design History Photography

The Wild Architecture of Soviet-Era Bus Stops Photographed by Christopher Herwig

December 6, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Christopher Herwig has circled the former Soviet Union, exploring the most remote areas of Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine to find and photograph its unique bus stops. After the success of his first book Soviet Bus Stops, he decided to explore the subject matter again for his new follow-up collection Soviet Bus Stops Volume II. In this book Herwig focuses on Russia rather than its former Soviet counterparts, driving nearly 10,000 miles around the massive country finding its incredibly diverse transportation shelters.

These architectural forms are more deeply explored in a forward by architecture and culture critic Owen Hatherley, who details the government policies that have allowed the bus stops to remain. You can view more of the Jordan-based photographer’s work on his website and Vimeo. (via Design You Trust)

 

 



Amazing Art

CTRL+X: Street Artists “Delete” Graffiti with a Painted Anamorphic Illusion

July 11, 2017

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Anna Christova

As part of the Stenograffia street art and graffiti festival in Russia, a collaborative of artists worked to create this phenomenal illusion that appears to “erase” a collection of graffiti from a small car and trash dumpster. With the help of a projector, the team painted the familiar grey and white checker grid found in most graphics applications that denotes a deleted or transparent area. The piece is titled “CTRL+X” in reference to the keyboard command in Photoshop for deleting a selection. You can see nearly 100 behind-the-scenes photos of their process here. (via The Awesomer, Mass Appeal)

 

 



Photography

Fire & Ice: A Walk Inside an Ice Cave Next to the Mutnovsky Volcano in Northern Russia

August 20, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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This amazing shot was captured last year by photographer Denis Budkov in an ice cave near the Mutnovsky volcano in an area of northern Russia. Known for an abundance of precipitation the area is often covered in several meters of snow and ice that cover mountain streams like this creating vast caves that look like something out of a science fiction movie. This particular cave was nearly 300m (980 ft.) long and several photographers in Budkov’s group also snapped a few amazing shots. The photographer also captured this jaw-dropping photo of some tourists in front of a volcanic explosion earlier this year. The power of depth of field, right? (via Russia Travel Blog)

 

 



Amazing

The Best of Humanity Caught on Russian Dash Cams

May 3, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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To help thwart rampant insurance fraud in Russia many cars are now equipped with dash cams to capture what unfolds in front of vehicles in an attempt to aid innocent persons, law enforcement, and insurance firms. This has lead to almost unlimited hours of footage found online of unbelievable accidents, close calls, and some of the worst of human behavior. Luckily somebody took it upon themselves to edit together some of the most amazingly thoughtful actions and tender moments caught with these same dash cams and edited into this short clip. And can I just say what on Earth is up with that kid running around on the highway!? (via kottke)

 

 



Design

A 170-Foot Trampoline Installed in a Russian Forest

November 27, 2012

Christopher Jobson

As part of the 2012 Archstoyanie festival in Nikola-Lenivets, Russia (from what I can tell it’s kind of like a small version of Burning Man but… with architecture and forests) design firm Salto created this gargantuan trampoline installation called Fast Track. Measuring nearly 170 ft. (51 meters) the bouncy road is nearly the length of a city block. According to the designers:

“Fast track” is a integral part of park infrastructure, it is a road and an installation at the same time. It challenges the concept of infrastructure that only focuses on technical and functional aspects and tends to be ignorant to its surroundings. “Fast track” is an attempt to create intelligent infrastructure that is emotional and corresponds to the local context. It gives the user a different experience of moving and percieving the environment.

Personally I sense the seeds of a new olympic sport, or a solid replacement for the slow people movers in airports. Here’s some more photos from Archstoyanie 2012. (via knstrct)

Update: Now with video. (thnx, paul)

 

 



Art Design

Embarrassing Pothole Caricatures of Politicians Spur Action to Fix the Streets in Russia

September 6, 2012

Christopher Jobson

I can’t speak from personal experience about the political climate in Yekaterinburg, Russia but if we take this video from the ad agency Voskhod at face value it appears the powers that be neglected the city’s infrastructure one day too long. After repeatedly commenting and complaining about the pockmarked streets of Yekaterinburg, local blog URA.RU turned to Voskhod to create a brilliant campaign: under the cover of night they would paint the faces of local politicians around the most unsightly potholes and potentially shame them into action. The response? It worked! Via Ads of the World:

Quality of roads is the eternal problem of Yekaterinburg – the fourth largest city of Russia. The local site URA.RU, which writes about life in the city, decided to remind politicians that it is their duty to repair the roads. The problem is – our politicians don’t care about potholes. Their only worry is their own public image. We associated road holes with the images of certain politicians. In the night, on three potholes in city center, we drew faces of the governor, the mayor and the vice-mayor. The news about caricatures became a sensation. With this intense PR the politicians were no longer able to sit idle. The holes were fixed. The news about the action was released in more than 300 media venues, the website traffic on URA.ru doubled. The officials at last started to do their jobs.

Gotta love it when art and politics come together to create something positive, hopefully they don’t have to paint a face next to every pothole in the city. See much more over on Red Hot Russia.