New Landscape
Contemporary Russian Photography

New Landscape is an exhibition of contemporary Russian photography first presented at Yeltsin Centre in Yekaterinburg, followed by modern art museums and foundations in Moscow, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Tyumen.

The focus of the exhibition is the new post-Soviet landscape and the new Russian photography that explores it.
New Landscape
Contemporary Russian Photography

New Landscape is an exhibition of contemporary Russian photography first presented at Yeltsin Centre in Yekaterinburg, followed by modern art museums and foundations in Moscow, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Tyumen.

The focus of the exhibition is the new post-Soviet landscape and the new Russian photography that explores it.
The landscape is seen as a way to reflect on the unprecedented changes in the Russian society in its transition from the industrial to the post-industrial as well as from the planned economy to the free market.
New Landscape features seven award-winning artists: Alexander Gronsky, Anastasia Tsayder, Liza Faktor, Max Sher, Petr Antonov, Sergey Novikov, Valeri Nistratov and their projects created within the past 15 years. The exhibition was curated by Anastasia Tsayder and Petr Antonov.

At each venue the exhibition was accompanied by a series of panel discussions and lectures on the subjects of landscape, cultural studies and contemporary photography.

The exhibition is the first extended museum overview of contemporary Russian landscape photography.

New Landscape is presented with the support of Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre Foundation.
Alexander Gronsky, Less than One, 2006–2008
Anastasia Tsayder, Petr Antonov
Curators of New Landscape
The exhibition follows several timelines—the timeline of the changing landscape, that of the artists' approach to the landscape, and the metaphorical timeline related to the perceived lifecycle of a man-made landscape—its birth, development, and final return to nature.
The works of Liza Faktor, the earliest among the featured projects see Siberia as the Russian frontier, once partially tamed but deserted anew.

Alexander Gronsky's Less than One explores the outermost regions of Russia where the average population often amounts to less than one person per square kilometre.

Documents of Nature by Valeri Nistratov, mainly shot along the fringes of Moscow looks for the marks of the nascent capitalism at the border between the urbanised and the rural.

The works by Max Sher and Petr Antonov explore similar changes, except they use built environment to record the emerging aesthetics.

Sergei Novikov's Grassroots turns contemporary Russian landscapes into a gigantic backdrop for the Russian amateur football.

Arcadia by Anastasia Tsayder looks at the relation between nature and man, but instead of finding an opposition discovers a strange co-existence as nature re-conquers urban space.

Sergei Novikov, Grassroots, 2012–2017
Ekaterina Inozemtseva
Art Historian, Curator
Lucius Burckhardt once remarked that the very word landscape implies that we are dealing with a certain concept only existing in our heads. Landscape is a technical term and used in relation to the idillic and repeatedly lauded in art Swiss landscape it means that what we actually see is not nature, but a landscape shaped by man, where people are engaged in agriculture, rural tourism, industry, etc. It is not just a suitable backdrop for our leisure or aesthetic studies. The more you know about the landscape in sight, the more intensely and thoroughly you can enjoy it. According to Burckhardt, studying geologic and geographic maps of an area, understanding the specifics of vegetation and geomorphological processes should make the landscape truly engulfing, make it reveal itself in an entirely different way. Its beauty in the eye of the beholder will be warranted by the garnered knowledge, the intellectual experience.

In the case of the works featured in this exhibition the studies of literature on geology or botanics should be replaced by more complex processes, dealing less so with knowledge or information. These processes will have more to do with reviving the collective and personal memory, the study of the particular social phenomena, architecture, etc. Looking at the featured works one cannot help but feel that to actually see nature, to develop an affection for a certain primeval landscape is scarcely possible. The Anthropocene has made it extinct.
The primary subject for each of the artists is not the landscape as such but the variety of ways it is interfered with, the hybrid lifeforms brought to life not by a particular agent, but rather by the global humanity, the phenomena of the social, commercial or industrial origin, which reshape the visible image of the world and create the new post-industrial pastorale.

Installation views
Ekaterina Foundation, Moscow
Exhibition venues
Boris Yeltsin Centre, Yekaterinburg, Russia, 2018
PERMM Museum of Modern Art, Perm, Russia, 2018
Ivan Slovtsov Museum, Tyumen, Russia, 2018
Ploschad Mira Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 2018
Ekaterina Cultural Foundation, Moscow, Russia, 2019
State Museum of Fine Arts, Kazan, Russia, 2019


Liza Faktor, Surface of Siberia, 2001–2003
Liza Faktor
Surface of Siberia
Liza Faktor was born in Moscow, lives and works in the USA. She is a producer, curator, photographer and co-founder of Screen, a visual storytelling production company. She was the founding director of the Objective Reality Foundation, and the co-founder of She has produced multi-platform visual documentary projects and curated more than twenty exhibitions in Russia, the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and the UAE. She is a recipient of the Howard Chapnick award for the advancement of photojournalism twice, and has served on juries worldwide including the World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest. She has been taking pictures since mid-1990s. Her photography works have been exhibited in Russia, Spain, the UK and the US.
Surface of Siberia, the earliest among the featured projects, is a study of Siberian landscape that looks at the signs of human interference. It is Siberia that is habitually linked with the heroic concept of 'conquering' nature. Despite the long-lasting relationship between this land and man, which according to Faktor has encompassed the spirit of exploration, romance, suffering and challenge, Siberia does not appear tamed or conquered. Furthermore, the social and economical turmoil brings its landscape to the state of primordial chaos and makes it appear conquerable again.

Alexander Gronsky, Less Than One, 2006–2008
Alexander Gronsky
Less than One
Alexander Gronsky was born in 1980 in Tallinn and has worked as a professional photographer since 1998. Alexander Gronsky's works have been exhibited worldwide and are part of museum and private collections. Alexander Gronsky is a recipient of Foam Paul Huf Award, Aperture Portfolio Prize, World Press Photo Award, Linhof Young Photographer Award, Innovation Prize, a Kandinsky Prize nominee.
Less Than One is a portrayal of Russia's outermost regions. The title of Alexander Gronsky's project refers to the fact that areas with population density of less than one person per square kilometre account for one third of the country's total area. At the same time these remote and hard to access parts of Russia are home to only three per cent of its population. Alexander Gronsky's photographs become the visualisation of the vastness and emptiness of space.

Valeri Nistratov, Documents of Nature, 2008–2011
Valeri Nistratov
Documents of Nature
Valeri Nistratov was born in Moscow in 1973. Valeri Nistratov began his photographer's career in 1990 at the age of 17 as a news photographer, in 1994 he reconsidered his photography and chose to focus on personal projects. Valeri Nistratov's photographs have been exhibited in Russia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, USA, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, China and other countries. Valeri Nistratov has been teaching documentary photography course in the Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia.
Documents of Nature by Valeri Nistratov, mainly shot along the fringes of Moscow, looks at the transformations of the lanscape at the borders of the urbanised and the rural. It is here, against the backdrop of nature, that the economic and social transformations are easiest to discern. Observing the ways in which nature is transformed by man Valeri Nistratov documents the emergence of the new, half-urban half-rural inhabited space. Although Valeri Nistratov's work focuses on contemporary Russian landscape, similar processes may be observed within innumerable landscapes worldwide, as they are being changed by global consumerism.

Petr Antonov, Trees, cars, figures of people, assorted barriers, 2010–2013
Petr Antonov
Trees, Cars, Figures of People, Assorted Barriers
Petr Antonov was born in Moscow in 1977 and has fully focused on photography since 2008. Petr Antonov's works have been exhibited in Russia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Syria, UK, USA, and have received nominations for Prix Pictet, Paul Huf and PDN30 awards. His series Ruins was shortlisted for the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Award.
Petr Antonov's project uses Moscow to focus on the transformations of built environment and explore elements making up the new urban landscape. The work aims at creating an imaginary 'catalogue of everything' listing the elements present in any post-Soviet urban landscape. Although the project catalogues situations that could occur anywhere in the post-Soviet space, all photographs were made in and around Moscow. This city has had the highest concentration of human and financial resources, which makes the changes in the cultural landscape appear most pronounced. Trees, cars, people and barriers turn out to be the most frequent elements found in the images and give the name to the project.

Max Sher, Palimpsests, 2010–2017
Max Sher
Max Sher was born in 1975 in Leningrad. Max Sher studied linguistics in Kemerovo and Strasbourg universities and took up photography in 2006. In 2008 he was nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award and became a finalist in the Cord Prize in 2013. His works have been shown at solo and group exhibitions in Russia, Austria, Italy and UK.
Max Sher's project spans across the total of roughly 70 inhabited locations—urban and suburban—within the post-Soviet space. The title of the project suggests an urge to read the landscape as a multi-layered medium of visual information, each layer supplying us with the evidence of a certain period in its formation. The project records the typical and familiar in the contemporary post-Soviet built environment, that which can be found in any inhabited location of the former Soviet Union. This way the focus of the project shifts from the notable—be that exotic or sublime—to the everyday, transforming the everyday into the notable.

Sergey Novikov, Grassroots, 2012–2017
Sergey Novikov
Sergey Novikov was born in 1979 in Cheboksary and has studied picture and video editing. Since 2009 Sergey Novikov has been working on personal photography projects. Sergei Novikov's works have been shown in personal and group exhibitions in Russia and abroad. His photo books have been nominated for Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award Arles, Photobookfest Dummy Award, DOCfield Dummy Award, Fiebre Photobook Festival, Encontros da Imagem Dummy Award.
In Grassroots Sergey Novikov explores how Russian amateur football finds itself in a variety of settings, from the Russian South to Permafrost, from the Caucasus to the Pacific Ocean. The stadiums that can be seen in Novikov's works serve their basic purpose of hosting the spectators in the absence of a television broadcast, while the amateur teams and their supporters follow patterns and regulations found in the professional football. Although these photographs show football matches, it is the scenic backgrounds of the vast country that appear to be their true protagonists.

Anastasia Tsayder, Arcadia, 2016–2017
Anastasia Tsayder
Anastasia Tsayder was born in 1983 in Karelia and graduated from the Faculty of Photojournalism of St Petersburg Journalists' Union in 2009. She is a recepient of Silver Camera photography prize, finalist of Kandinsky Prize. Anastasia Tsayder's works have been shown is solo and group exhibitions in Russia and abroad, including Russian Interiors (Moscow Museum of Modern Art, as part of the Photobiennale-2014), Moskovia.Research (Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, Moscow), Rencontres d'Arles Festival (France).

Anastasia Tsayder's work looks for the idyllic Arcadia in Tolyatti, an industrial city rebuilt in the late 1960s to suit the needs of the USSR's largest car manufacturer VAZ. The new city made use of the most novel ideas in the socialist urban planning, while the concept of garden city was to make it a model living space for the working man. When the planned economy failed the urban vegetation was left to itself and started re-conquering urban space. The overgrown plants become the result and the illustration of the transformations, while also remaining their active participants. Looking at the modernist utopia 50 years after, Arcadia illustrates the idea of any man-made landscape being returned to nature in the end.
Petr Antonov, Trees, cars, figures of people, assorted barriers, 2010–2013
Public programme
At each venue the exhibition was accompanied by a public programme with location-specific events ranging from discussions and lectures to workshops in contemporary art photography. The speakers included prominent philosophers, sociologists, art historians, architects such as Alexander Filippov, Alexandr Veleykis, Anton Gorlenko, Boris Klushnikov, Dmitry Bezouglov, Ekaterina Inozemtseva, Erika Wolf, Kirill Asse, Oleg Pachenkov, Sergei Sitar, Vitaly Kurennoj, Yury Grigoryan. The public programme at Yeltsin Cebtre in Ekaterinburg culminated in a stage reading of Dmitry Danilov's play A Man from Podolsk.

Anastasia Tsayder, Arcadia, 2016–2017
Anastasia Tsayder, Curator

Petr Antonov, Curator

Anna Zekria, International Production

Ilia Shipilovskikh, Yeltsin Centre

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