At the turn of the year, Kehrer Galerie exhibits the Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko (b. 1989) for the second time.
For his award-winning series »Restricted Areas« (2013–2015), Tkachenko travelled the different states of the former Soviet Union in two consecutive winters, looking for abandoned and derelict industrial structures that once represented industrial progress of this country.
His new series »Motherland« (2016–2017) also deals with the history of the Soviet Union. During the collectivization between 1928 and 1937, the majority of the farmers were forced to give up their farms in order to be integrated into socialist collective farms. Their villages were left behind and fell to ruins. Up until today there is a constant dwindling of rural villages in Russia. More than 23,000 villages have disappeared from the maps over the last 20 years, while 76 % of the Russian population is gathered in big cities.
»Motherland« shows fire images from these abandoned Russian villages. For the series Tkachenko literally burns the symbols of the departing era, liberating the space for a brighter future. Today, there are more than 150,000 abandoned villages in Russia, their people were resettled to the big cities with the promise of a rosy future that has failed to come true. They live on the ruins of failed utopias, watching only their bright images. Following the example of the avant-garde artists of the early 20th century Tkachenko necessarily erases everything that is static, traditional, and obstructing the new way of thinking, in order to create the basis for a new utopia.