Russia

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Art History

A New 5-Hour Advertisement Records a Single-Shot Walkthrough of Russia’s Hermitage Museum

March 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

As travel slows due to the global coronavirus pandemic, a new advertisement released by Apple provides an expansive view of one of St. Petersburg’s most-visited institutions that’s accessible without having to venture into crowded spaces. Clocking 5 hours, 19 minutes, and 28 seconds, the single-shot video spans the Hermitage Museum in the nation’s cultural center. It includes a look at 45 galleries, 588 works, and even has live performances from Russian composer Kirill Richter and a ballet duet from the Hermitage Theater.

The ad was shot to showcase the iPhone 11’s battery life but also offers an impressive view of artworks by Rembrandt, Raphael Loggias, and Caravaggio. “This video to me is all about connection through time,” filmmaker Axinya Gog told ArtNet. “Art that is timeless meets modern life and state-of-the-art technology.” Using a complex system of handheld stabilizers, cranes to span rooms, and even a custom app to control the camera, Gog and the group behind the ad created the single-shot take during the course of six hours in the museum.

If you can’t commit to the full five-hour video, check out the one-minute trailer. For a similar look at the Hermitage, take a look at the 2002 film Russian Ark by Alexander Sokurov.

 

 



Photography

Through Monochromatic Photographs, Aleksey Myakishev Documents Rural Life in Russia

January 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aleksey Myakishev, shared with permission

Born in Kirov and now based in Moscow, photographer Aleksey Myakishev is adept at capturing the simple moments of life and transforming them into alluring black-and-white images. Taken mostly throughout Russia, his projects tend to focus on unassuming subjects as they navigate their daily lives. In one photograph, three figures walk over a snow-covered landscape away from a lit firework, and in another, Myakishev creates an uncanny juxtaposition between a hilly horizon and a man swinging a child by his hands as a winter boot flies from his foot. When describing the dozens of series he’s created, the prolific artist said capturing life in his native country can be complex.

It is always difficult to photograph the place where you live. Nevertheless, sometimes I pick up my camera and go to the streets to capture the city’s pulse. When I look through the camera’s viewfinder, a dialogue with the city takes place. There are lots of everything here, be it people, vehicles, buildings. Sometimes the city looks ugly to me, sometimes beautiful. Through photography I try to find something especial in this city, perceiving the underlying surrealism of what is going on.

Myakishev also has published three books chronicling his monochromatic works. To find more of his documentary-style images, head to his Instagram and keep an eye out for his upcoming project on provincial Russia.

Moscow (2019)

Davydovo (2013)

Arkhangelsk (2018)

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

An Out-Of-This-World Aerial Shot of a Volcano Erupting in Russia

July 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

This past weekend, a volcanic eruption on Russia’s Kuril Islands was so massive it was quite literally visible from space. An astronaut on the International Space Station’s (ISS) Expedition 59 crew documented the plume from Raikoke Volcano, which reached eight miles into the sky. The ISS orbits 250 miles above earth. NASA explained:

On the morning of June 22, astronauts shot a photograph of the volcanic plume rising in a narrow column and then spreading out in a part of the plume known as the umbrella region. That is the area where the density of the plume and the surrounding air equalize and the plume stops rising. The ring of clouds at the base of the column appears to be water vapor.

Because of the reach of its plume, the ash and gas pose a flight risk to airplanes. Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers in Tokyo and Anchorage have been monitoring its movements. Raikoke rarely erupts; its last explosion was in 1924, and before that, 1778. You can explore more scientific documentation of the blast on NASA’s Earth Observatory blog. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Design

Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’ Emerges on a Giant Building Facade

December 26, 2018

Johnny Waldman

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” all images via @etaloncity

Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is perhaps one of the most iconic images that Japan has ever exported. And it’s now emerged as a giant mural on the facade of a new development in Moscow. Called Etalon City, the development, which comprises 9 buildings, is located in the South Butovo region in south-west Moscow. While the rectangular buildings will feature the silhouettes of New York, Chicago, Barcelona, and Monaco, a decision was made to include Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” on the 6 square-shaped towers that are situated along the highway and most visible. The total area of the facade is almost 60,000 square meters. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



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)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite