photographs 1988 - 2023
Frank Gaudlitz has devoted himself to photographic research into the development of Russia for over thirty years. His journey began in 1988, the last years of the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, he created a psychological portrait of this formative transitional period based on individual life situations.
With his analogue 35mm camera, Frank Gaudlitz moved inconspicuously through the surroundings. He captured moods on the streets, black market and train station situations and did not shy away from entering industrial plants, businesses or restricted areas in order to find meaningful motifs. Proximity and immediacy were always essential for his photographs. By responding to challenging living conditions, he created a special connection to people - as a person present at eye level and as a photographer.
After a longer period of time, he again dealt with the changes in Russia in 2017/18. The focus of this work lies in the field of tension between staging and reality. He purposefully explored ideological and touristic clichés of Russian society and visited places where a patriotic imagery was used that seems to have come from the communist era.
The exhibition also presents works from the "Cosmos Russia" project. In 2021, Gaudlitz followed Alexander von Humboldt's Eurasian itinerary from St. Petersburg to Tobolsk in Siberia. He photographed dense urban spaces in which improvised and ideological spaces as well as different time levels overlap. However, people do not appear, but are only briefly absent residents who allow an unobstructed view of their surroundings.
Due to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the planned second stage from Omsk to Astrakhan could not be implemented. Instead, in 2022/23 he traveled to the former union republics of Moldova, Georgia and Armenia, which were affected by large influxes of refugees due to the war. He portrayed people who had to leave their homes. These portraits and reports about their destiny are presented for the first time as a "work in progress".