Towards the Horizon

Photo-book by Emil Gataullin captures rural living in Russia in poetic black-and-white images.

Emil Gataullin is a professionally trained monumental painter who, after graduation from Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute, took an interest in photography and studied under the well-known theorist and pedagogue Alexander Lapin. His latest book “Towards the Horizon,” published by Edition Lammerhuber, is a result of Emil’s artistic work throughout the last 15 years. 

Although the book features images from different series, it is composed as a single visual narrative, dedicated to the Russian provinces. Emil is drawn to places far from the hustle of big cities: “I rarely shoot in Moscow and use every opportunity to visit a small town or a village. There I feel most comfortable, and my inner state of mind starts resonating with the outer world. My love for such places is connected with my childhood memories; I spent every summer at my grandma’s house in Yurino village on the banks of the Volga River and I took my first photos there.”

In an effort to bridge documentary approach and artistic value, Emil heavily relies on intuition and spontaneous response: “For me, the process of shooting is both a quest for moments that manifest the beauty of daily life and a search for the means that can express it to the viewer. You never know where and when you can find these moments, and I don’t always know what makes me hit the button, but I always try to tell an entire story with just one shot.” 

The book, accompanied by a poetic text by GEO editor-in-chief Peter-Matthias Gaede, is available for purchase online via the publisher’s website.