First Book Ever Published on the Early Work of Russia's MostInfluential Living Photographer Russian photographer Boris Mikhailov (b.1938) described the politicalclimate of his homeland in the late 60s and early 70s as "a period ofhidden meanings and coded messages."Inadvertently he produced a body ofwork during that time that parallels that encrypted reality--an assemblageof conflicting elements that reflect the dualism and contradictions ofSoviet society.
The simple act of overlaying two slides created a scene inwhich fact and fiction could interplay, concealing an extraordinary doubleworld of soviet drudgery juxtaposed with sex and beauty. Phaidon Press is pleased to announce the publication of YESTERDAY'SSANDWICH (Hardcover, April 2007,59.95), a unique collection of BorisMikhailov's Superimposition series, which has never before been publisheddue to artistic restrictions imposed during the Communist era.Comprisedof 52 color tableaux printed on separate unbound boards and enclosed withina specially created folder and slip case, this lush package is a unique andhighly collectible object.YESTERDAY'S SANDWICH embodies Mikhailov's roleas artist, documentary photographer, and social observer. In Mikhailov's superimposed world everything is layered and mixed up.Anaked woman swims in a lake while brown leaves cover her sensual body; aclothesline full of undergarments stretches across overgrown railroadtracks; school children play in a desolated and flooded courtyard; a womanwearing a gasmask and a woman carrying an umbrella stand side-by-side undera sunny sky.Mikhailov explains the imagery as "a work that celebratesbeauty or its absence.I started with pictures of an idyllic beauty butsubsequently created images that lapse into kitsch, or evoke the tedium andthe ugliness of life." There are a multiple entry points for interpretation in this fascinatingseries.At first, backgrounds seem to show reality, but this reality isimmediately distorted by the intrusion of an unexpected object, form, orcolor.Superimposing images introduces a different point of view--apolitical commentary, a personal fantasy, or simply a formal device.Amyriad of extraordinary worlds merge into one scene. For nearly thirty-five years this series existed only as slides, shown onlyin the form of projections as paper was expensive and difficult to find. Much later, in the late 1980s, Mikhailov, while he was in the west, madeprints from the slides.With the publication of this gorgeous edition itis now possible to own the series as a whole and to experience firsthandthe innovative vision of Russia's most influential living photographer.
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