April 14, 2008
Alexy Titarenko is best known for his long exposures of Russian commuters like the one above. The grim loveliness of that project speaks to both photography's early history and to more recent Soviet reality. ( You can here Titarenko speak about this series on the lens culture website).
Titarenko has a new show at the Nailya Alexander Gallery titled simply Venice. The photos are a nostalgic look at Venice. The images are as pretty as all of his photography is, but I found them to be misleading in the way tourist board postcards are misleading. They hide the ugly overcrowded overtouristed reality of the city today. This seems to be a missed opportunity as Titarenko's technique would have lended itself well to both showing Venice's teeming tourist masses and commenting on the nature of the city itself, instead we get images that evoke an empty romantic Venice that exists primarily as fantasy. This comes off as fluff.