Sergueï Mikhaïlovitch Procoudine-Gorsky Tour de signal du village de Bourkovo

Sergueï Mikhaïlovitch Procoudine-Gorsky (1863-1944) [Juillet-Août 1909] – Tour de signal du village de Bourkovo © Library of Congress, Washington, Procoudine-Gorsky Collection / Famille Procoudine-Gorsky

From October 9 to May 11, 2014

On 3rd May 1909, Sergueï Mikhaïlovitch Procoudine-Gorsky (1863-1944), an inventor of a new photographic process which reproduced colours with startling precision, was received at the palace of Grand Duke Mikhaïl Alexandrovitch, in Saint-Petersburg. The Tsar, who was present at the projection, was a great photography enthusiast, and amazed by the images which appeared on the several metres large piece of fabric, stretched out for the occasion. Following this projection, Procoudine-Gorsky was authorised to travel across the Empire and to undertake the ambitious documentary work of which he dreamed.

Aboard a specially adapted carriage and taking a shallow draught boat, often the only means of travel possible, Procoudine-Gorsky took thousands of glass transparencies between 1909 and 1916, journeying through the regions of the Urals and the Volga, Murmansk, Siberia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and staying in the mythical villages of Bukhara and Samarkand.

These glass plates left Russia in 1918, almost 2,000 of them being acquired by the Washington Library of Congress in 1948. The images for which they were the fragile medium remained undiscovered for almost a century, stored in trunks. The evocative power of one hundred or so of them, which only virtual technology allows us to reproduce today, can be discovered this autumn at the Musée Zadkine, in the year commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Procoudine-Gorsky.

Amazingly contemporary, these images of a Russia before the Revolution are those of a Russia which was partly that of Zadkine, born in Vitebsk, in 1890. Their presentation in the place where he lived is an invitation to come on a captivating journey, at the crossroads of a double geography. That of a world which one believed had disappeared forever and of a territory – the memory carried by an artist of his native land - which one could never have imagined accessing. Both are revealed by the magic of images which banish time, which, from a distance of one century, unite the past to the present, with the charm of their colours.

With the support of the Crédit Municipal de Paris

Because of its success with the public, the exhibition has been extended until 18th May 2014.

Press area
Véronique Koehler

Full rate : 7 €
Reduced rate 1 : 5,00 € Reduced rate 2 : 3,50 €


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