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Boris Mikhailov. Detail from Parliament, 2014–2017. Courtesy of the artist

BORIS MIKHAILOV

Parliament

30 SEPTEMBER – 17 DECEMBER 2018

Produced from 2014–2017, Boris Mikhailov’s new photographic series became a premonition of the recently defined era of post-truth politics. In this body of work, Mikhailov photographs television broadcasts of parliamentary debates, capturing glitches on the screen. The artist corrupts television imagery through physical intervention with the indoor antennae in his living room. Sporadic moments of sublime disorder are then captured on his camera.

 

Parliament fits within overarching themes in Mikhailov’s practice—his interest in undermining the staged reality and the representation of a hero figure, whether it is the Soviet tradition of mass gatherings or the 24/7 news spectacle. Here, the artist uses his camera as a manmade sense organ to interrogate bodies on the screen. The data retrieved is a bewildering kaleidoscope of pixels pointing at the irony and horrors of communication. Sifting through streams of information on television, Mikhailov creates hybrid portraits of contemporary authorities in their pre-verbal state, which evoke emotions of rage, confusion, or anxiety rather than awe and trust. His photographs metaphorically portray the loss of holistic perception of reality and reference the phenomena of informational echo-chambers and the splintering of media communities.

 

Parliament reflects on media ecology and the systemic irregularities of the current information landscape: the inflation and banality of television’s talking heads; tolerance of distortions due to perpetual violations of truth; sensory overload and individual resistance to mass media. Viewed by Mikhailov as “a collision between Cubism and Suprematism,” the series is an homage to the present moment, which sees social behavior shifting from the blind overconsumption of media to a navigation of more trustful pathways to information.

 

Boris Mikhailov was born in 1938 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, the same year television broadcasting started in the USSR. He undertook a photographic practice while working as an engineer in the early 1960s. Under Mikhailov’s leadership, Kharkiv School of Photography emerged as an underground artistic movement, which gave life to new avant-garde aesthetics and photographic conceptualism. Mikhailov has produced more than 30 photographic series and published over 20 photobooks. He was the recipient of the 2012 Spectrum International Prize for photography, the Citibank Photography Prize (later renamed Deutsche Börse Photography Prize), the 2000 Hasselblad Foundation International Award and the 1999 Krazna-Krausz Photography Book Award. Past solo exhibitions include MoMA, ICA Boston, Tate Modern, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Berlinische Galerie, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Kunsthalle Wien, and Centro Italiano per la Fotografía, among others. The Parliament series was first shown in 2017 in the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.

 

Curated by Peter Doroshenko, Executive Director and Lilia Kudelia

 

Major Sponsors:

NANCY C. + RICHARD R. ROGERS

 

Education Sponsor:

 

 

Supported by:

 

 

 

 

SAMI ARSLANLAR + JOHN CLUTTS   ANAIS ASSOUN   BECKY BRUDER

TAMMY COTTON HARTNETT   CLAIRE DEWAR   PATSY FAGADAU

MARK GIAMBRONE   GEOFF GREEN   LAREE HULSHOFF + BEN FISCHER

MOLLY + JAMES LAZAR   JO MARIE LILLY   LISA MARIE BAKER

KARLA McKINLEY   CARA + GARY OWENS   HARRIS POLAKOFF

LISA SHARDON + ANGELO DeFILIPPO   THE COLOR CONDITION

MAXINE + BEN TROWBRIDGE

 

Media Sponsor: