Vernissage on Thursday, 30 June, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The collective exhibition City of Shadows includes photographs from the legendary series of the same name, shot in St. Petersburg in 1991–1994, as well as from the series Venice (2001–2008), Havana (2003–2006), and New York (2004–2022). The photographs were hand-developed by Titarenko himself in his personal laboratory. Quite a few of them are unique prints.
Alexey Titarenko is known for shooting on film and printing by hand. His photographic working methods are not merely a technical tool, they are part of his personal style as an artist. In the book Conversations on the Art of Photography (in Bulgarian) by Nikolay Treyman and Tzotcho Boiadjiev, the two comment on exactly this masterful work in the photographer’s darkroom that leads to the impressive results in all of Titarenko’s photographs. As Nikolay Treyman says, “this is a full realization of the analog potential” with an impact that is especially powerful when one has the opportunity to view these photographs in person.
About City of Shadows
The exhibition is named after one of Alexey Titarenko’s series which put him on the world photographic map.
City of Shadows (1991–1994) captured the social and governmental entropy in multi-million Russia in its desperate attempt to break with the abbreviation “USSR” and head in a new direction. The photos in the series were taken after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when thousands of people in St. Petersburg were on the brink of survival and some were losing their lives due to the lack of basic living conditions and a crime boom. The idea was born unexpectedly but quite naturally as Alexei Titarenko watched his fellow citizens gradually lose their humanity, overwhelmed by despair. To document the catastrophe, Titarenko took street photos using long exposure, which are a vivid metaphor of people as shadows.
About Alexey Titarenko
Alexey Titarenko was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1962. He began taking pictures at the age of nine and graduated from the Leningrad Public University of Society-related Professions at the age of 16 with a degree in Photojournalism. That same year, Titarenko became a member of the independent photo club “Zerkalo” (The Mirror) and held his first solo exhibition.
In 1983, Titarenko received a Master’s degree in Cinematic and Photographic Arts from the Leningrad Institute of Culture. He began work on the Nomenklatura of Signs series, a commentary on the Communist regime as an oppressive system.
His first solo exhibition in Western Europe was in Paris in 1989.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he produced several series of photographs in his native St. Petersburg, which documented the situation in Russia and with Russian people at the current moment. Those works won him worldwide recognition, turning him into one of the most distinguished and significant contemporary photographers.
His works are in the collections of major European and American museums, including The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg); The Getty Museum (Los Angeles); The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston); The Museum of Fine Arts (Columbus, Ohio); The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston); The Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego); The European House of Photography (Paris) and many more.
As of 2014, Alexey Titarenko lives and works in New York City.