Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow

In the end of 2018 I received an interesting email that left me wondering whether I was dreaming. A curator from the museum for photography in Moscow asked me whether or not I would be interested to have a solo-exhibition. 'Of course!' was my answer. And so the preparations started.

I was invited to Moscow to personally present my works and talk to both visitors and journalists. It was quite an overwhelming experience.

The press reviews were positive and most visitors were positive as well. They instantly reacted to the subjectmatter of the collages, instead of focussing purely on the aesthetics. This was a refreshing difference from exhibiting in Europe, as to the Moscow public the images sparked personal stories and associations. I was questioned quite a lot on my fascination of the USSR and received very contrasting opinions on that time period. Yet everyone, regardless of their opinion, felt very strongly about the subject. This proved to me that it is still very relevant.

In the end the exhibition consisted of 50 collages composed from Soviet images, a collection built up over 4 years.

To get more closely acquainted with Russian people and the contemporary Russian reality, I decided to travel to different cities, like Saint-Petersburg, Kazan and Tula. Each was very different from the other, but the journeys on the train through the vast landscape were always equally interesting and dominated by conversations with strangers. Walking through the residential areas of different cities their endlessness and the monumental size of the buildings, placed in maze-like patters left a deep impression. Once I came back I felt inspired and hungry for more.

The exhibition itself was the fulfilment of a cherished dream; to show my work in the city and country that largely inspired me to make collages. I'm very thankful to the people who organised the exhibition as well the random people I met along the way. They made this experience more precious than I imagined it could be.

Tamara Stoffers © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all artwork reproduced courtesy the artist.

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