The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
WHAT: A pop-up, temporary museum exhibit featuring original photography with audio interview playback.
In 2015, “The Spine of Russia” project took a mismatched duo of Russian and American journalists on a 6000-kilometer road trip from the frigid shores of the Barents Sea to Sochi, Russia’s southernmost tip on the Black Sea.
The goal was to view Russia from the ground, to collect powerful images and honest human stories that offered a more subtle, complex picture of the United States’ resurgent global rival. The trip captured over 3000 still images and hundreds of hours of interviews with Russians from all walks of life, all of which was distilled into a coffee table photo book and a text-only travel essay style book.
A central element of the project was the duo’s interviews with over 40 “heroes,” followed by a revealing environmental photo portrait of each. After their portrait was captured, each hero was surprised with the timely question: "Do you consider yourself a patriot, and if so, of what and why?"
This exhibit makes the responses of 12 of these heroes, and their portraits, its center-point. Each portrait is produced in a vivid 20 x 30-inch mounted color print, with a sideboard showing the individual’s response in English and Russian, as well as an audio output device that allows visitors to hear the subject’s voice.
Twelve other prints of the same size will share important images from the heroes’ town and the trip more generally.
WHY: To give visitors an intimate look behind the dismal headlines coming out of Russia, to meet Russians where they live, to hear their voices and see them up close and personal.
WHEN: The traveling exhibition can be reserved for dates throughout 2017.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED