The special thing about Boris Mikhailov as a ‘book maker’ is that he thinks of and develops photography in sequences, in spaces and cuts, in the forms of its montage.
Viewed as a whole, his books and book drafts – which often only exist as one original copy – create a retrospective of a very unique and intimate kind. The artist’s books Krymskaja Fotomanija (Crimean Photomania) and Mountains, each with 128 pages, are shown here in facsimile, accompanied by 80 pages of illustrated text.
Boris Mikhailov is seen as a chronicler of his Ukrainian homeland: the everyday life of the so-called ‘little people’ on the street, on the beach, at dances – anywhere that the politic becomes visible in the private. Drawing on this material, Mikhailov explores both the human condition and the history and decline of the Soviet Union – and the consequences of its fall.
Boris Mikhailov was born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1938. He uses documentary as well as staging and studio techniques to comment on the Soviet Regime and, latterly, the downfall of the Soviet Union. His work has appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (NewYork), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Kunsthalle (Zurich), and the Sprengel Museum (Hannover).Today, Mikhailov lives and works in both Charkow and Berlin.
336 pp, hardback