In the past few years, sensationalist Russian news stories have claimed the discovery of Hyperborea — a land rooted in Greek myth, “a place of pure bliss, perpetual sunlight and eternal springtime,” supposedly located somewhere on the White Sea… right next to the snow-beaten, eerie sites of Soviet Gulag prison camps. Artist Anton Ginzburg has responded to this astonishing fantasy with project At the Back of the North Wind. These photographs document his journey “beyond the Boreas” (the North Wind) to the “primordial, virgin forest” of Portland, Oregon, to the dilapidated palaces and haunted natural history museums of St. Petersburg, Russia and finally, to the stark ruins of the Gulags themselves. Creating a dreamscape on the geographical and metaphorical sites of Hyperborea, the artist released giant clouds of red smoke to represent the collective unconscious.
Exploring “the tension between the actual and the potential,” Anton Ginzburg’s photographs, video installations, and site-specific works will be exhibited as part of the 54th Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Bollani through November 27, 2011. Click through for a preview.
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It must be our lucky day, because we just hit the motherlode of our two favorite topics: abandoned architecture and Russian oddities. Thanks to photographer Richard Davies, who has a solo show at the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki through May 30, the wider world can get a taste of the endangered, centuries-old wooden Orthodox churches indigenous to the Russian North. Davies originally stumbled upon a cache of postcards depicting the santuaries by Russian artist Ivan Bilibin, circa 1902–04 when the buildings were already in poor condition. He then took a pilgrimage (ПАЛОМНИЧЕСТВО) in Bilibin’s footsteps in an effort to preserve the area’s architectural and cultural heritage. More amazing photos after the… Read More
Lunch is long gone, it’s 4 p.m, Russia foresees going to arms over energy, Somalia is kicking up the aggression, 100 million will lose their homes in the water, Craigslist is a “blatent internet brothel”, one of the FBI agents that used “enhance interrogation” says it was ineffective, and work just won’t end. There’s only one way to make it out of this day alive: THE CAT POWER HAPPY HOUR, a new daily pick-me-up from your friends at Flavorpill. After the jump, a picture so cute it’ll turn your cubicle into a den of pure cuddle. (Check back tomorrow, same time, same place for more unhinged adorability).
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