Sergey Shestakov

 

Sergey Shestakov, Untitled from the series Journey into the future. Stop #1, 2010 © Sergey Shestakov. Courtesy MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW

Sergey Shestakov, Untitled from the series Journey into the future. Stop #1, 2010 © Sergey Shestakov. Courtesy MULTIMEDIA ART MUSEUM, MOSCOW

Journey into the future. Stop #1

curated by Laura Serani and Olga Sviblova
in partnership with MAMM Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

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times and locations

Sinagoga
via dell’Aquila, 3/a
42121 Reggio Emilia

friday 3rd may open from 6.30 pm to midnight; saturday 4th and sunday 5th may from 10 am to midnight; from 6th may to 16th june open on friday from 7 pm to 11 pm; saturday from 10 am to 11 pm, sunday from 10 am to 9 pm

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Most of the projects a curator and museum director works with are the result of long and complex reflection. But, one way or another, in the end any project is an emotional experience.
Quite recently I came across some Chernobyl photographs by Sergey Shestakov almost by chance and I still remember the state of emotional and existential shock I experienced at that moment.
I thought I knew all about Chernobyl, or, at least, a lot. Chernobyl became a tragedy for many of my friends and could become a tragedy for members of my family. A few days before the nuclear accident, a group of Russian and Ukrainian poets was preparing a poetry night at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In letters from Kiev to Moscow they joked: “Everything will be all right, if nothing explodes.” The radioactive explosion did touch a part of the poetry mission. Some of them later had sick children, while others have lost the ability to have children altogether.
For a quarter of century I read everything that there was to read on Chernobyl, watched films, photo- and video-reports. It was evidence that did not allow one to forget, that kept reminding one of the tragedy that had happened there. Sergey Shestakov’s works do not so much refer to the past as provoke feelings and thoughts about the future.
Every shot by Sergey Shestakov is a piercing metaphor, created from small and even tiny details. The whole generalization that has special resonance today, after the tragedy in Japan. This new situation changes the very sound of the name of the series, Journey to the Future, derived from the name of a children’s book frozen in the Exclusion Zone.
Sergey Shestakov’s project is not as much about how difficult it is for people to calculate the possible danger of nuclear power plants, both existing ones and those currently under construction, as it is about the actual measure of human responsibility for the achievements of civilization in general. One way or another, all technologies are bound to get out of our control.
Artists of all times have been attracted to the subject of the Apocalypse.
Journey to the Future by Sergey Shestakov is one more work of this kind. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, which is extremely focused on modernization, innovations and new technologies, it could be interpreted as a warning.
In his project on Chernobyl, Sergey Shestakov managed to achieve the ultimate articulation of the artistic message.
Olga Sviblova

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biography

Sergey Shestakov (Moskow, 1968) lives and works in Moskow and is a member of the Creative Union of artists of Russia. An oceanographer by education, He graduated in 1991 from the Moscow Institute of Applied Physics and is currently a photographer.
He started photographing at school and his works were regularly published in periodicals.
He has participated in several collective and solo exhibitions: Mirage Architecture Project, National Pavillion of Ucraine, 13th International Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2012; Fahrt in die Zukunft – Stop #1. Tchernobyl, Kunsthalle Museum, Vienna 2012; Journey into the future. Stop #2. Gudym, 9th International Month of Photography, Moscow Photobiennale, Moskow 2012; Journey into the future. Stop #2. Gudym, 9th International Month of Photography, Moscow Photobiennale 2012, Moscow; Additional poles with Alexander Ponomarev, Gallery Na Mosfilme, Moscow; Journey into the future. Stop #1, Lianzhou Foto 2011 (China); Antarctic Biennale International Art Exhibition; Ultima Thule, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice.