About Exhibitions Activities Articles Art Books & Links Contacts

Moscow. Side by side

The exhibition presents Digital Derivatives made by Sally Ducker in Moscow in 2010s and Moscow cityscapes, projects and fantasies created by Russian artists from 1930s till 1990s.

15.03.2018 — 08.04.2018

Bragino (past exhibition)

In order to get to the Bragin's homestead you need to fly by helicopter from Krasnoyarsk for four and a half hours with a landing for refueling. It is also possible to get from Krasnoyarsk to Yeniseisk, from there on a motor boat along the Yenisei to the village of Yartsevo, and from there for five days by boat along the tributaries of the Yenisei to the river Sym. There are no roads around the homestead.

It all began in the early seventies. First, Sasha settled in taiga. He always dreamed of living in such a place, in the forest at the bend of a river. He drew this bend in his school's notebook, and he would fall asleep with the thought of a house in taiga while serving in the army. Then, Sasha happened to be in Krasnoyarsk Region while working in the forestry enterprise, and found a place that looked exactly like his dream picture. He lived in a tent for the first year, building a log house, and worked the taiga. He withstood all the hardships despite the severe frosts in the winter and midges, mosquitoes and botflies in spring, summer and autumn.

Gradually there was the first house, the garden, wife Liza from the Old Believer family, and the children were born: Andrey, Maxim, Zhenya, Anya and Lena. It turned out that one can live without a refrigerator - all the products here were stored in the ice cellar - fresh fish, mainly pike, cans with stewed deer meat, home-grown vegetables, smoked wood grouse, sour cream, milk. In the summer, spruce branches were laid in between of ice and snow in the cellar, so they won't melt. Soon they got cows, sheep and chickens, and even small melons ripened in the greenhouse. The family gathered cranberries from around the homestead which they brought in the birch bark baskets handwoven by Sasha.

The children didn't go to school - the nearest school was 700 km away. They were occasionally taught by their aunt who flew over by a helicopter with her husband and stayed for two months at a time. Her husband hunted, and she taught children to read and write. Sasha also taught them. When he took the children with him to hunt, he always had the primer in his backpack. In the evenings the children read in the winter hut. Andrey, the oldest, would always hide the primer and so he never learned to read or write. But he knows how to build a house, let nets down, build dams, mow the grass, hunt and so many more important and necessary things for surviving in taiga that his inability to read and write doesn't seem so terrible.

Life was never particularly easy, and it was necessary to earn money for kerosene and gasoline. In winter, they hunted sables and ermine, and sold the skins to the state. By that time they had motor boats, electric saws and snowmobiles. The family has become very big, Sasha already had eight grandchildren, so they had to buy a washing machine to save woman's hands, and the generator to power it. The Bragins were never against civilization and its achievements, they were only cautious of it.

Sasha often said that the most terrible thing is to meet a human in taiga. One should not be afraid of the bear, but a human, although bears often invaded the Bragin's winter huts, broke the glass, or got in and ate all the food leaving everything torn up and flipped. We were close to death from one of these uninvited guests during the filming but Sasha came in time and threw up his rifle. When a shaggy monster stands fifty meters away from you on his hind legs and growls, you don't think of Russian fairy tales about Masha and the Bear, but of horror films..."

During the filming it was impossible not to take photographs. Imagine autumn taiga, with all the colours of the rainbow from the greenish-yellow, red and bright orange to the blue, gray and golden colour of the morning dew over the river. The amazing, open, beautiful faces of the elder and younger Bragins with curly blond hair. Children, especially girls, always dressed in bright clothes, like huge flowers or bright lights, decorating and tinting taiga in completely unusual colours.