Emil Gataullin

Project | Emil Gataullin: Towards the Horizon

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Artist’s statement.

This series developed as I visited small suburban towns and villages of Russia. It shows the lives of people, their relationships with each other and the places they live.

I take photographs of province places during the several years now. This is my main topic, I would say. I live close to Moscow, but don’t really take pictures there and take every single opportunity to go somewhere far from it, to some small town or village. This is where I try to find some points of interest for my photographs. There is some charm, peculiar to the province life that big cities do not have.

In Russia one can feel the difference between the capital and the province, the middle and the periphery like nowhere else. Even the word “province” itself has some special meaning in modern Russian language: it means “all the country, except its capital”. Moscow, the great capital, the only center that dominates, while everything else just depends on it. Moscow is self-contained, focused on itself, has nothing to do with what happens outside it’s borders. This is a city of great opportunities, the major life events happen here, while the province just looks as faceless and inferior from this point of view.

When you leave Moscow for province you feel like crossing the border between two different worlds, the feeling of space changes so the feeling of time does. In the capital the space is closed, limited by the buildings walls, time is concentrated, it is always not enough. The space of province appears to be endless, it spreads towards the horizon, and the time runs slow, almost by itself.

In province you feel you want to walk. The more space, the more your feet can cross. The slower time flows the less you hurry. The regular life goes slow. One can find it gray and boring; other can find there something the capital does not have: the feeling of the ground and nature, the escape from city bustle.

Different space means different people. Yes, they can be not as smart as those who live in the cities, the demand much less, but at the same time they are much more real and open-minded, their honesty is what you want to believe in.

© Images and text: Emil Gataullin.

Artist’s website: emilgataullin.photoshelter.com

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