Curators of this exhibition have picked the title “Other Capital — New Kharkov Photography” taking into account certain circumstances that must be explained.

First of all, Kharkov photo school really does exist. And it is not just about the famous FED factory, which had been producing FED photo cameras until just recently. While the names of E. Pavlov, A. Suprun, and other members of the 1970s group VREMJA are only known by photo professionals, Boris Mikhailov, now based in Germany, is one of the most respected internationally recognized photographers of our time. His high status was confirmed by the Hasselblad Award in 2000. Boris Mikhailov frequently visits Kharkov and holds master classes with young photographers, his students, whose work is currently exhibited at ROSPHOTO.

Bella Logacheva creates black and white photographs, as she herself puts it, “of intentionally low quality, thus emphasizing the mundanity of subjects.” Photography, from her point of view, “does not capture a moment in time, but is always a little late, missing the event.”

Sergey Kochetov who participated in the exhibition “Сarte blanche à Boris Mikhailov” at Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, 1999) works together with his father, and they often sign photographs with both their names. Apparently, it is a response to his teacher’s gesture of showing pictures by Kharkov photographers at the Paris exhibition omitting the names, as a uniform composition.

Just as the mentioned artists, Alexandr Maslov, Ilya Pavlov, and Mariya Norazyan “consider the space and the spirit of their home town as their main inspiration source and, sometimes, their only subject,” as they themselves acknowledge.

The city, of course, does deserve such a devoted attitude. There is a good reason for a photo of Kharkov Gosprom building to illustrate the article on constructivism in the World Architectural Encyclopaedia. It seems that the “spirit” fascinates the new generation of Kharkov photographers much more than the “space.” One cannot but feel respect for them and frank interest to their work. Famous Kharkovite Eduard Limonov wrote, “Although provincial, the former Ukrainian capital Kharkov knew how to play cultural games.”

It seems that Bella Logacheva, Sergey Kochetov, Alexandr Maslov, Ilya Pavlov and Mariya Norazyan have not lost this skill either.