New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Alexey Titarenko
Four Movements of St. Petersburg

Ah, those Russians. Using music as a metaphor, Russian photographer Alexey Titarenko’s Saint Petersburg series is comprised of four “movements” as he calls them: The City of Shadows, The Anonymous, The Light of Saint Petersburg and Unfinished Time. Many of the untitled black and white images in The City of Shadows are as gloomy as a Russian winter and for Titarenko, that’s the whole point. He uses a slow shutter speed to create gray, faceless crowds of people as a way to express the suffering and despair felt by St. Petersburg’s inhabitants after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In The Anonymous, he shows individuals who, slightly blurred, have no apparent identity – phantom-like, they have become part of the “Russian crowd” and lost in a sea of humanity. Gloom turns to dramatic shafts of light in The Light of Saint Petersburg. In one image, a lone woman on a deserted street corner is illuminated from behind, the rest of the street is in shadow. Is she emerging from the dark? About Unfinished Time, Titarenko says: “ I try to transpose time into a purely visual language.” Here, some images have an ethereal quality – Titarenko uses darkroom techniques to create veil-like effects. In one image, we view an ice-covered river from beneath a bridge, a distant smokestack’s exhaust filling the sky, with barely discernible people giving us the impression we’re looking at a diorama. Overall, this is an exhibition not to be missed – the photographer’s artistry is evident in virtually every image, some of course, more intriguing than others, but all worth your immediate attention.

Alexey Titarenko
Four Movements of St. Petersburg


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Thursday, February 11 to
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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