"The young generation of Russian artists today have no direct experience of the Soviet Union. Their careers started after the collapse of the communist state and were formed in a society existing between the guidelines of a global connection and individuality. A large amount of young artists have graduated in Europe or the US and some of them continue to work and live in Russia. In comparing the artists of the late Soviet period to the young photographers today, it can be said that the work of the old generation was sharply social, attuned to societal conflict and deeply motivated by a belief in the strength of the media for social change. On the contrary the work of the younger generation of artists looks inward, reflecting their inner psychological conflicts - the conflicts of their generation. For the last several years, Russian photography has carved its path from photojournalism to artistic and personal documentary, and yet some of the classic approaches are still preserved.
The stories we are presenting today at the Museum of Humanity are very diverse: we are introducing photographers from different generations (even a 5-7 year age gap makes a huge difference in attitudes), individual and group projects. We are showing bodies of work from various genres: from documentary photography to a completely original genre entitled 'photographic realism', coined by the photographer. The entire body of work is united by the persistent, determined attempt of the authors to document their subjects and capture the events and phenomena in detail, something only possible over a long period of time. All the projects are the result of everyday work over several years."
Anna Shpakova is the invited curator of this exhibition. She graduated from Moscow State University, psychology department in psychoanalysis, psychology of art. Wrote her dissertation on war and war photographers. Director of photography of various magazines in Moscow (Afisha, Ogoniok, Snob). Curator of numerous exhibitions in Russia and abroad, including exhibitions for Moscow biennial, Tbilisi Fotofestival, Rencontres d’Arles, PhotoEspana, Berlin Foto Festival. Commisaire of Russia for Biennal PhotoQuai 2011, Musée Branly, Paris. Founder of photography department of British higher School of Art and Design and art director of Leica Academy, Moscow. Image adviser and consulter of many young photographers in Russia and CIS. Co-founder of the Foundation of Photojournalism Development in Russia. Now, she is the Director of Photography at RIA Novosti international news agency. She lives in Moscow.