Mirages of the USSR. 1995-2000
Since their first American trip, The Cherkashins have created an important series about Moscow. It was entitled "Mirages of Empire". In these works Natasha & Valera presented photographs of grand Soviet buildings. After these buildings and memorials have lost ideological power, they didn't look aggressive any more. The colossal Soviet structures seem abandoned amidst children too young to remember the Soviet Union, and advertisements.
Materials: crumpled black & white silver gelatin print, bleach, watercolors, newspaper transfer, gold and Silver acrylic, paper frames, ink.
IDEOLOGICAL DECONSTRUCTION AND CULTURAL RECONSTRUCTION: THE ANTI-MODERN PHOTOGRAPHIC INSTALLATIONS OF VALERY AND NATASHA CHERKASHIN
Valera and Natasha Cherkashin continue to develop their series of artistic programs concerning the socialist epoch of word culture - and more. Their site-specific installations assimilate years of Soviet history, symbols, and values. What is borrowed from the past, they reuse for a new kind of visual expression for the 21st century. Their art is a mirror of the diverse fabric of Russian society today. It is a multidimensional collage that combines the past with the ever-changing present.
Modern art history from the 20th century helps us in understanding the complexities of today's photographic art. The Cherkashins do not work within the standard traditions of the history of photography. Like much of contemporary photography around the world, style or subject or medium cannot categorize their unconventional room-sized works. They are a new generation of artists who rekindle the innovative spirit of the European avant-garde early from the 20th century. However, their photographic art moves beyond formalism and the limitations of the medium of photography. They abandon such standards from the history of modern art...
Curator of Photography
Senior Fulbright Scholar,
Museum of Fine Arts,
Museum of New Mexico,