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Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia
Alexandra Artamonova
Rob Hornstra
Chelyabinsk, Russia, 2003
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.

Rob Hornstra »

Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia

The Sochi Project

Exhibition: 14 Dec 2013 – 9 Mar 2014

Huis Marseille

Keizersgracht 401
1016 EK Amsterdam

+31 (0)20-5318989


www.huismarseille.nl

Tue-Sun 11-18

Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia
Dima
Rob Hornstra
Sochi, Russia, 2009
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.

Rob Hornstra
Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia


Exhibition: December 14, 2013 – March 9, 2014

A first overview of the work of Rob Hornstra

The Sochi Project – which photographer Rob Hornstra, together with writer and film-maker Arnold van Bruggen, has worked on for the last five years – has been described as ‘slow photojournalism with crowdfunding’. The project documents the area near the Black Sea in Russia where the Winter Olympics will be held in 2014. The artists’ goal is to show how the region around Sochi in the Caucasus, a turbulent area with an unruly history and many colourful elements, will change drastically in character in the run-up to the winter Games. Together Hornstra and Van Bruggen weave a web of stories; each separate narrative is presented either as a book or an exhibition, financed by Hornstra through crowdfunding. Although the talented documentary photographer Rob Hornstra (1975) has become best known through The Sochi Project, this is certainly not the only subject he has visualised and documented thus far. He made his name with many long-term projects in Iceland, the Netherlands, Russia and elsewhere. In 2004 he graduated cum laude from HKU, having successfully arranged a print run for his book Communism & Cowgirls (Chelyabinsk, Russia) and winning the Dutch Academy Award with it. “I don’t take photographs to get rich or famous, I do it to make people aware of what’s going on in the world. I want my images to tell stories and counter prejudices. That’s why I’m not that interested in single images; for me it’s more about the whole project and what I want that to say,” Hornstra explains.

Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia
Cook
Rob Hornstra
Angarsk, Rusland, 2008
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.

The exhibition of his work that Huis Marseille is curating shows a selection from all the work he has done in Russia over the last ten years: in Sochi, but elsewhere too. Like the woman cutting fish in the canteen of a cement factory in Angarsk, soldiers in Chechenia, interiors, cityscapes, simple meals, photo albums, the dilapidated buildings he finds and photographs everywhere, veterans, groups of children, patients, workers and artists. “These photos are not really about one place or person,” he says, “they’re more about an archetype of that place or person. I want the image to stand for a greater truth, which viewers interpret for themselves.” Hornstra works with a 4x5 inch, medium format camera, and a very large flash: heavy equipment, that slows him down. But for this deeply engaged, exhilarated, and enthusiastic photographer, working on such long-term projects is never a burden.  

With the publication The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus (Aperture, 2013)

Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia
Mosque
Rob Hornstra
Krasny Vostok, Russia, 2013
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia
Elfrem en Sveta
Rob Hornstra
Tsjeljabinsk, Rusland, 2003
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Golden Years / Rob Hornstra's Russia
Bar / Restaurant ‘Mars’
Rob Hornstra
Soechoem, Abchazië, 2007
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.