Nikolai Kanavin, Head of Big Photo Premiere
When I’m pondering why the photographic saga about Chukotka has been chosen among so many timely, vivid and worthy projects created in Russia to become the starting point for the Big Photo Premiere, I can’t help but recall something that happened nine years ago. We were presenting to the public an exhibition about Antarctica created by two talented authors. It was dedicated to the idea of its new creative re-discovery for all humankind. The catalogue featured the following words: «Every idea, just like every person, has their own destiny. Personal destiny is often intertwined with an idea’s destiny, creating an illusion of serendipity. However, a keen observer can’t be fooled by this illusion. Hidden signs eventually become evident, and every time we are reassured that we see the path clearly. There’s nothing more important than following this path». For the vast territory of our country, Chukotka is a bit like our own Antarctic: remote, harsh, underexplored, hard to reach. The end of our world. And this remote land is populated by wonderful people. The ones whose ancestors walked their way to the end of the world and settled in the Far North tundra, and the ones who arrived to develop, explore, and reclaim this pristine land. Every new day for our country is born in that faraway territory. And «Chukotka. Epic saga. Introduction» is to become the starting point as a prologue of the Big Photo Premiere. The project’s idea is to discover new names in Russian photography, and it's intertwined with the history of Chukotka that celebrates the 90th anniversary of its independence, as well as with the destinies of a famous photographer Oleg Zotov and his co-author Ida Ruchina — the guide of the creative group to the region. They have conceived it as a trilogy that starts with an introductory exhibition. It is an intro to the world of Chukotka and its indigenous peoples still living their traditions and crafts, preserving the unique culture and the connection with Nature, despite the influence and temptations of the modern civilisation. We hope that those traveling the exhibition at the New Tretyakov Gallery in 3D/VR format will feel the strong bond with the living Nature and the powerful Tradition preserved by the people of Chukotka. The premiere opens in the days of the imposed self-isolation and disconnection of humankind, and it may bring on the thoughts about our future, as well as our roots and traditions that have saved us from extinction. The final image of the exhibition is titled «Starting Point of the Journey out of Timespace». We’d like to believe that our journey is just starting now, and the House of the Sun depicted in the image becomes a fortunate omen for every visitor of this exhibition.
– Public Production Centre
– New Tretyakov Gallery at Krymsky Val
– Department of Culture of Chukotka
– «Russian Peace Foundation»
New Tretyakov Gallery, Krymsky Val