Boris Mikhailov, From the series: Case History, 1997/98
Boris Mikhailov, From the series: Case History, 1997/98

Boris Mikhailov

From the series: Case History, 1997/98


Boris Mikhailov was born in Kharkov – then still part of the Soviet Union – in 1938. Today he enjoys an international reputation as one of the most celebrated artists of contemporary photography. Since the end of the 1960s, when he abandoned his profession as a technical engineer and devoted himself to photography exclusively, he has developed an occasionally playful pictorial language parallel to conceptual Soviet art, but always reflects critically on prevailing social conditions. He came to Berlin on a fellowship in 1996. He now lives in Kharkov and Berlin.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Boris Mikhailov began to portray the homeless in Kharkov in his major photo series Case History, comprising circa 400 images. His portrait photographs present the “sitters” in ordinary everyday situations, often with their bodies bared to reveal their wounds, injuries and scars to the viewer. Frequently, the artist adopts well-known patterns from painting to portray his “models” – in this case, he depicts the man lying down in the tradition of Giorgiones. Case History is a work about those who fell furthest after Glasnost.

From the series: Case History, 1997/98
Colorprint
60 x 40.2 cm
Acquired using funds from the DKLB in the context of artist sponsorship by the Senate Administration for Science, Research and Culture, Department of Fine Art, Berlin 2002

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011
© Reproduction: Kai-Annett Becker

 
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