Danila Tkachenko's Lost Horizon

Photography exhibition explores the heritage of a failed Soviet utopia.

The latest project by Moscow-based documentary photographer Danila Tkachenko focuses on the Soviet monuments and buildings that symbolically affirmed the technical progress and advance of a communist future. Dissolving any superficial context of these objects within a black void, the series highlights the idealistic purpose and political intent behind the first artificial Earth satellite “Sputnik 1,” the observatory telescope, a sculpture of Vladimir Mayakovsky, a futuristic hotel complex and other remnants of the USSR’s technical and artistic prowess.

These objects are pictured in a conscious reference to Kazimir Malevich’s infamous painting “Black Square,” which, according to Tkachenko, is an origin of the Soviet utopia and its artistic implementation. Thus, the traces and ruins of the failed political project are forcefully returned to their beginnings. The clear concept and strict style of the photos help communicate the necessity of reflecting on the Soviet experience – the task photographer considers “important for humanity to not make mistakes like that.” 

The photo exhibition opens on March 2 at Moscow’s Pechersky gallery, which presented Tkachenko’s project “Restricted Areas” in 2015. The photographer has received numerous awards, including the World Press Photo Prize and the European Publishers Award for Photography.