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Updated 10:00 AM March 14, 2005
 

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Mikhailov: Tragedy and irony of human existence


The Institute for the Humanities is sponsoring the photo exhibit, "Boris Mikhailov: Original Photographs." It runs through May 27 at the Osterman Gallery in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

Photos from the exhibit, "Boris Mikhailov: Original Photographs." (Photos courtesy Institute For The Humanities)

An internationally acclaimed Ukrainian photographer, Mikhailov captures the tragedy and irony of human existence, organizers say. Staged in a decaying world, Mikhailov's characters transcend cultures to become icons of our miserable condition. His work, often classified as surrealistic, transposes Russian literature into a contemporary visual narrative.

Mikhailov began his work in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, and for 30 years he photographed that nation's passage from established socialism to its dissolution in the early 1990s. His work is divided into four periods. The exhibition focuses on the third period, created in the post-Soviet era. This recording of the decay of social order is a requiem in three series: first "By the Ground," "At Dusk" and "Case History."

Mikhailov's photography explores several visual rhetorical means—brown or blue coloration of blurred urban landscapes opposed to sharp full-color portraits, panoramic views versus vertical portraits, cropped individuals or full bodies—they say. These varied techniques express profound apprehensions: rumbling, chronic pain, a void.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The gallery is closed noon-2 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays.

This exhibition is part of "Ruins of Modernity," a conference organized by the Institute for the Humanities, Center for European Studies, and the Center for Russian and East European Studies.

For more information, call (734) 936-3518 or visit http://www.lsa.umich.edu/humin.

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