Rob Hornstra, Arnold van Bruggen. “The Sochi Project”, 06.09 — 06.10


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­”Construction in the winter capital”

Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen have been working together since 2009 to tell the story of Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. They have returned repeatedly to this region as committed practitioners of “slow journalism”, establishing a solid foundation of research on and engagement with this small yet incredibly complicated place before it found itself in the glare of international media attention. As van Bruggen writes, “Never before have the Olympic Games been held in a region that contrasts more strongly with the glamour of the event than Sochi. To the east the Caucasus Mountains stretch into obscure and impoverished republics such as North Ossetia and Chechnya. On the coast, old Soviet-era sanatoria stand shoulder to shoulder with the most expensive hotels and clubs of the Russian Riviera. Now, in 2014, the area around Sochi has changed beyond recognition.”

Hornstra’s photographic approach combines the best of documentary storytelling with contemporary portraiture, found photographs, and other visual elements collected over the course of their travels.

Van Bruggen complements a series of photos with stories about people, land and their turbulent history. Together, the photos and the texts reveal a complex history of this disputed region, casting harsh light on Vladimir Putin’s statement that “the Olympic family will feel at home in Sochi”. The design of the project was made by Kummer & Herrman, long-standing collaborators. The book “The Sochi Project”, a website and the exhibition “An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus” are the culminations of this five-year project, a contemporary masterpiece of photography and journalism in the best tradition of James Agee and Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor.

Text: Aperture Foundation, New York

The Sochi Project was founded in collaboration of Rob Hornstra (born in Borne, the Netherlands, 1975) and Arnold van Bruggen (born in Texel, the Netherlands, 1979), with the participation of designers Kummer & Herrman.

Rob Hornstra is a photographer and publisher of slow-form documentary work. He is also the founder and former artistic Director of the Center for Documentary Photography “FOTODOK”. Hornstra’s works are presented at Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Arnold van Bruggen (texts) is a writer and filmmaker, founder of the journalistic agency Prospektor, and a cofounder of the Sochi Project.

Many of the works of the Sochi Project were awarded, including the Canon Prize for innovative photojournalism in 2010, Magnum Expression Award in 2011, Sony World Photography Award (in the nomination “Art and culture”) in 2012 and the World Press Photo (category “Arts and entertainment”) in 2012.

06.09 — 06.10
“CECH” Art Space, Gallery

Kastryčnickaja Str, 16
12:00 – 22:00, daily
Single ticket for all the exhibitions at “CECH” Art Space ― 5 BYN. School children, students and retirees ― 2,5 BYN. Free entrance for journalists, children under 10 years old.

“CECH” Art Space, Gallery, 19:00