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mikhailov, boris - 17 06 2003 - 01:12 - katatonik

Boris Mikhailov (1938-)

Photographer, Ukraine. Born in Kharkhov, 1938.
By training a technical engineer. Introduced to the camera in his late Twenties, when he was officially requested to make an educational film about the factory in which he worked. Soon after the KGB found nude pictures Mikhailov had taken of his wife. He lost his job and, as the story goes, decided to devote himself to photography from then on.


Red Series (1968-1975), documentation of slogans and symbols of Soviet Union as backdrop of mundanities of everyday life.

Private Series: more private pictures, people socialising, dancing, in homes, elsewhere.

Crimean Snobbery (mid-1970s): pictures of friends and others by the sea, playful, poetic.

“Wenn ich ein Deutscher wäre…” (1995): together with Sergej Bratkov and Sergej Solonsky

Case History (1999): pictures of homeless people (bomzhe) after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Stirred up debate about legitimacy of taking pictures of suffering, especially in view of the fact that the scenes are carefully crafted rather than spontaneously shot.

Various exhibits and a few pictures are googleable, and I’m too lazy to collect all of them. The “Fotomuseum Winterthur”, Switzerland, shows a retrospective from June 14, 2003 to August, 24, 2003. Very nice catalogue “Boris Mikhailov – eine Retrospektive – a retrospective”, edited by Urs Stahel.

Press release, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, on the occasion of their 1999 exhibit of “If I Were German”.

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