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On the Margins of (Post-)Soviet Society

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The C/O Berlin gallery dedicates a retrospective to Boris Mikhailov in celebration of the Ukrainian photographer’s 80th birthday. ‘Before Sleep / After Drinking’ will be on display from 16 March to 1 June 2019.

The C/O Berlin gallery marks Boris Mikhailov’s birthday with a major retrospective of his work. Comprising more than 400 images, ‘Before Sleep / After Drinking’ provides a comprehensive overview of the Ukrainian photographer’s extraordinary oeuvre. Topics such as the body, social criticism, mortality and humour are interwoven with the artist’s personal history. The exhibition takes the form of projected images, framed pictures and table display cases in order to convey both the diversity of the artist’s approach, and the materiality of a photograph as an objet d’art – culminating in a condensed formalistic, ideological and emotional dialogue with Mikhailov’s life’s work.

With a mercilessly candid, near-voyeuristic visual style, Mikhailov primarily focuses his attentions on the outsiders and anti-heroes of society – breaking countless taboos and creating an aesthetic that continues to influence photographers to this day. His virtuosic body of work, which now spans almost five decades, firmly establishes Mikhailov as one of the leading figures in contemporary photography, as well as a political and artistic representative of a new, post-Soviet generation.

Boris Mikhailov (b. 1938 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) is one of the most significant chroniclers of everyday life in a (post-)Soviet society. Mikhailov studied electrical engineering at the Kharkiv University of Technology, and initially worked as an engineer before becoming a self-taught photographer in the late 1960s. His work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Boris Mikhailov lives and works in Charkow and Berlin.


For further information visit C/O Berlin

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