192 x 127 cm
Inv. Nr. 123
Photo: © VBK, Wien, 2011
Born in 1938 in Kharkov, former USSR
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Kharkov, Ukraine
Boris Mikhalov is considered as one of the leading photographers from the former Soviet Union. Through his pictures, he is constantly exploring individuals’ narratives within their social and ideological contexts, mainly in post-communist Eastern Europe. Case History is certainly his most important work to this day. Composed of a series of nearly five hundred colour photographs, this work describes the life of the people turned homeless as a consequence of the collapse of Communism in the late nineties in Russia. Suffering from the lack of social support, this desperate community became a class of its own on the fringe of the country’s new economic regime. Mikhailov followed them in the course of the everyday reality of their devastating poverty and psychological misery. The photographs were first gathered in a book. Case History is not only a collective portrait of those whom history has left behind. The artist had his models pose and sometimes re-enact well-known scenes from Christian iconography. This aspect reveals the provocative viewpoint that the artist intends to give on this subject, far more than a simple journalistic gesture.