Grigoriy Yaroshenko (b. 1971 in Moscow) graduated from the Moscow Institute of Cinematography. He has since worked as a photographer and a cameraman for over 20 years and received several awards for photography, including the Silver Camera Award (2009), Black & White Photography Award, The Spider (2012), 1st Prize of the Museum of Photography and Modern Art, Tampa, Florida. (2016). Major recent photographic series include Touch me if you can catch me (2016) photographed in an orphanage for blind and deaf children, Norilsk (2015), Britain (2014), and Trench (2013) which portrays Uzbekistani migrant workers and their life in Moscow and Uzbekistan.

White Space Gallery has recently published his book on Norilsk Photographs: Grigoriy Yaroshenko. Essay: Andreas Petrossiants. Translated into Russian by Natalia Rubinstein.

A Future out of Ruins

Noting that Yaroshenko studied at the Moscow All-Union State Institute of Cinematography—before switching to concentrate on photography in the early 1990s due to the economic crisis following the Soviet Union’s collapse—it becomes even more pertinent to continue the allusion to the image of Lidia invoked throughout this essay. Yaroshenko is quick to note the influence of Italian Neorealism (and later Italian filmmaking of the 1960s) and French New Wave on his so-called ‘hunt’ for pictures.

In the cover image, even more strikingly reminiscent of Antonioni’s image, a woman stands braving what seems to be a burdensome wind. In front of her, a large patch of grass, emerging from its usual place under metres of snow, as the sun reappears in early summer. While the dark clouds above her seem an ominous and grey allegory for the burdensome history/present of Norilsk, she is not overcome by those large compositional structures as Lidia is. Instead a sense of space, both literal and allegorical, opens before her. The images convey a certain sense of hopefulness covered in dust: hope for a cleaner Norilsk. Yaroshenko’s wandering eye has captured how a city can emerge from darkness in more ways than one, and can carve out a present without forsaking its history in the process.”

Andreas Petrossiants. New York, 2017

Grigoriy Yaroshenko. Norilsk. Published by White Space Gallery, London UK. In English and Russian, first edition of 1000. Paperback, 70 pages. ISBN: 978-1-9999442-0-9. Printed by Wilco Art Books, Netherlands