Groups + Locations (Moscow), 2004, Twelve C-Prints

‘Groups + Locations (Moscow)', is a series of photographs taken at historic sites in and around Moscow. Based on late 19th century group shots, the work refers to a moment when photography played an important role in the Russian people’s comprehension of what their vast lands and its inhabitants looked like. Groups + Locations takes the vernacular of historic group portraiture as a cue for structuring contemporary images that are similarly striking in the intensity of a given group collectively directing their gazes, their looking focused by the camera. In a culture where photography is still prohibited in many designated public spaces, the participation of the passers-by and the resulting images develop a political charge. The work proposes a performative approach to portraiture, raising questions about individual and cultural identities, as well as public space as a framework for a participatory practice.