Where Nostalgia Meets Suspicion
In Of Faith, Power, and Glory, the sixth and final exhibition of Baang and Burne Contemporary's six-week art event, titled "6x6", the gallery juxtaposes photographs of Russia of a by-gone era with
strikingly painted portraits of dictators and tyrants inspired by present day "bad guys" of contemporary society.
Photographed over the course of multiple visits since 2007, Michael Kirchoff's ongoing body of work An Enduring Grace explores the landscape and cultural heritage of Russia. Inspired by a childhood fascination with television broadcasts from the then Soviet Union and images of Moscow's Red Square, Kirchoff approaches the contemporary Russian landscape with a nostalgia and wonderment that is captured on the transient Polaroid film.
In stark contrast to Kirchoff's Russia of endless beauty and rich history, Meyer Uranovsky's portraits of archetypal villains such as army generals, politicians, judges, kings, and dictators flanked by their henchmen, seem eerily to have been extracted from Kirchoff's brooding Russian landscapes. Uranovsky refuses to name names, but his works, which reference the tradition of state portraiture, bring to mind Stalin, Franco, Mussolini, and Castro. But even as Uranovsky paints these characters with suspicion his role remains more that of a satirist than judge.