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Kamchatka’s Past and Present

Ulrike Ottinger and Vladimir Medvedev present images of the Far East peninsula at the Solyanka Gallery.

The Solyanka State Gallery and “Synergy” University present “Kamchatka,” an exhibition of work by Russian photographer Vladimir Medvedev and German filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger. As they meld the past with the present, their projects address the out-of-time quality of the Far East’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

Kamchatka, “the edge of the Earth,” offers the artists otherworldly landscapes: lava fields of black ash, moss-covered craters, dying forests. The exhibition features Medvedev’s photographs, and video shot using drone and GoPro technology. While the wildlife photographer focused on desolate photographs of volcanoes, rivers of lava and mountain lakes, Ottinger recorded the lives of local inhabitants: “We know that in Europe in the 20th century there were two world wars, but what happened in Kamchatka?”

A filmmaker, documentarian photographer, and professor at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Ulrike Ottinger has created “Chamisso’s Shadow,” a 12-hour film of her Kamchatka experience that was inspired by the early 19th-century botanist and explorer Adelbert von Chamisso. Drawing upon his experiences, other explorers of that time, as well as her own, Ottinger strove to “create a cinematic evocation of these travel experiences, both past and present.”

Kamchatka, Solyanka State Gallery of Video, Performance and Animation (VPA), Moscow. Till April 9.