Academic journal article Afterimage

Hasselblad Award

Academic journal article Afterimage

Hasselblad Award

Article excerpt

The Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation has selected Ukrainian photographer Boris Mikhailov as the winner of the 2000 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Mikhailov, who lives in Charkov, Ukraine and Berlin, was born in 1938 in Charkov and trained as an engineer. He took up photography at the age of 28. He lost his factory job shortly thereafter when the KGB discovered nude photos he had taken of his wife, and thus began a full-time career as a photographer.

Mikhailov works in extended series that tend to be quite different from one another in form, making attempts to define his photographic style a difficult task. What has remained consistent throughout his career is his belief that the function of photography is to further the viewer's understanding of the relationship between individuals and society. Many of his early works such as the "Private Series" (late 1960s), the "Red Series" (1968-75) and "Luriki" (1971-85), while playful, nevertheless critiqued Soviet iconography, institutions and propaganda. "The new freedom" occasioned by the dissolution of the Soviet Union brought Mikhailov both financial success and artistic freedom but it also brought a new set of problems. …

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