Boris Mikhailov — I am not I, 1992



Boris Mikhailov
I am not I, 1992

Past: January 13 → March 10, 2012

Boris Mikhailov
I am not I, 1992
13 January–10 March 2012
Opening: Friday 13 January 2012 at 6pm

Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve is delighted to announced the fourth exhibition by Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov, on show simultaneously at LOFT19 and at the Marais space (7 Rue Pastourelle).

At LOFT19, Boris Mikhailov has made a selection of some fifteen photographs from his series I am not I (1992). In these self-portraits, the artist strikes pseudo-athletic or contemplative poses recalling the stylised nudes of the 19th century.

The exaggerated staging turns the artist into an unlikely sex symbol, what with dramatically lit black-and-white photography and the use of a poster format that refers ironically to the idealised stars of Hollywood.

I am not I was produced between the series By the Ground (1991) and At Dusk (1993). Boris Mikhailov made these photos with the idea of concentrating on new feelings, a new idea of life. As the fall of the Soviet regime ushered in a new, capitalist era, a new kind of hero was called for.

“But as I’ve already said, in the Soviet Union heroism wasn’t possible, it had already been trashed by ideology. There were heroes, of course, people who threw themselves at machine guns, but we always wound up joking that someone had pushed them. So there could only be an antihero. This series was dedicated to the new antihero, to the new capitalism.”1

In I am not I Boris Mikhailov plays on the different representations of the hero in a personal set of works that is also a commentary on the long, drawn-out death of the Soviet system.

1 — From the book I have been here once before, by D. Teboul, Hirmer Verlag / Les presses du réel

Boris Mikhailov was born in 1938 in Kharkov, Ukraine. He lives and works in Berlin and Kharkov. His first retrospective is being held at the Berlinische Galerie this February. In 2011 his work was shown at the Palazzo Grassi during the Venice Biennale and he had solo shows at MoMA, New York, and Tate Modern, London — the latter continues to 31 March 2012.

  • Boris Mikhailov — I am not I (1993 — 2002) Opening Friday, January 13, 2012 6 PM → 9 PM
Suzanne Tarasieve, Loft 19 Gallery
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The artist