Through The Lens: Andrew Moore

Source Credit:  Content and images by HYPEBEAST.  Read the original article - https://hypebeast.com/2022/5/through-the-lens-andrew-moore

“Perhaps more than any other country, Russia is a place where history weighs mightily, and every individual’s memory is laden, if not burdened, with the past.”

Can you describe your experience creating the Russia/Ukraine series. What were the underlying themes explored?


I was quite familiar with both the history and culture of Russia before I arrived for the first time in 2000, but I hadn’t yet linked that knowledge to the more intimate understanding one gathers on the ground and in person.

There is an amazing story of the poet Anna Akhmatova, standing in a long line of women outside a prison during the Stalinist purges, all of them waiting in the remote hope of possibly seeing their jailed husbands. A woman that was standing behind her knew she was a famous poet, and whispered to her: “Remember this for us.”


Perhaps more than any other country, Russia is a place where history weighs mightily, and every individual’s memory is laden, if not burdened, with the past. So I would say that despite what I knew of the country’s history before I went, the most crucial and enlightening ideas were gathered from the stories people told me.


With regards to overall themes, I had two guiding principles. The first was to avoid as much as possible any well-worn stereotypes. There are very few pictures of big housing blocks in my book (and none of Red Square) because these seemed like the most ready-made and clichéd images of life in the former Soviet Union.

Instead I tried to work more around the edges of things, and in fact many of the places I photographed were actually located along the periphery of the country. I ended up shooting points east, west, north, and south but not so much in the middle of the country. This worked out rather well, as one of Russia’s great historical problems has been a lack of clear boundaries with which to define itself (as its history has shown over and over).

The second idea was the use of contrasts, by which I mean subjects that present a multilayered pattern of use and history. For example, I photographed a former synagogue that had been turned into a radio station, a monastery used as a gulag, a nobleman’s mansion transformed into a children’s theater. Russia abounds in sites that present a cross-section through time. The contradictions of these places not only address Russia’s complex past, but also, on a greater scale, the compacting and collapsing processes of contemporary history.

Source Credit:  Content and images by HYPEBEAST.  Read the original article - https://hypebeast.com/2022/5/through-the-lens-andrew-moore

Tags:
,