Calvert22 is delighted to present Photo I, Photo You, the fourth exhibition at the
contemporary art space in Shoreditch. Curated by Iara Boubnova, the exhibition will
present works by leading Russian and Eastern European artists who invite the viewer
to reconsider, revisit and rediscover what they think they know through a series of
mixed media works.
What is known as Eastern Europe, the countries that made up the old Soviet Union
together with the former Yugoslavia and East Germany, is no longer seen as the
infamous site of the failed Russian Empire but more as an extension of the West.
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern Europe perhaps seems to have
forsaken the right to be interesting as a geopolitical whole. What used to be Eastern
Europe’s defining factor, Socialism and belonging or not belonging to the Soviet
sphere of influence, is what makes a revisiting of the region and its ideologies most
interesting for these artists, for whom their experience has inevitably informed their
Photo I, Photo You aims to trigger a double-take on the East of Europe, focusing on
artworks by leading contemporary artists whose origin and inspiration come from the
region, and who lead us to reconsider what is presented. These works allow the
viewer to recognise what they might think they know in a new way. In this way,
nothing is obvious, nothing is what is seems to be, and nothing is how we thought it
would be when we first looked at it.
Through photography, video, found and ready-made objects, the artists in Photo I,
Photo You use means that maintain close links to reality and its people, locations and
buildings. In so doing, they find a lighter and more delicate context for concrete
impressions and experiences.
‘We tend to see the other in terms of cliché, established patterns of habit or random
memories from the guidebooks or the media, yet most of the things in the world that
we think we know, in fact demand a second glance. The known demands attention
just as much as the unknown.’ Iara Boubnova