Biennale History





SI 1Sergei Isakov is a fine art photographer born in 1974 in Serov, USSR, but now residing in Paris, France.

After graduating in Russian Literature and Language in Nizhniy Tagil State University, he moved to Moscow and began working for a commercials company, during which time he traveled extensively throughout Siberia. In 1996, his career moved into documentary photography, starting as a freelance photographer for "Ogoniok" magazine in Moscow, then as a staff photographer for "Moscow News" weekly newspaper and "Ogoniok" magazine, while simultaneously contributing to Moscow's bureau of European Press Photo Agency and Agency France Press. Working actively in one of the most politically charged periods in modern Russian history, Isakov covered several of the country's most high profile events: war in Chechnya; terrorist attacks in Moscow; and political crises in Ukraine, Belarus and Central Asia.

In 2005, Sergei Isakov won the prize for Best Young Photojournalist of
Russia from the State Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation. At this time, alongside photojournalistic work, Isakov developed the fine art style for which he is now well known. His recent exhibitions include those in Moscow, Paris, Zurich and Berlin, with his recent solo show, "UnJardin en Hiver", showing at Gallery LWS in Paris.

The artist's ongoing project, "Siberia: The White Roads", which began in 2001, is a demonstration of the changes in SI 2life and environment of the generations of families who settled in Siberia, as well as the migrants who arrived there on the wave of economical and social changes.Born himself in the north of the country, the artist does hold some personal affinity with his subjects, however he has never set himself the target of observation and documentation – rather, the aim of finding a place of inner purity. His photographs present life seen through the eyes of a child.

Isakov claims that making photographs reflects his personal inner search for something profound: "I am looking for something, I guess, I am trying to find photographs that would delicately transmit the human emotional experience".

Working on a Leica M4 and creating prints in silver-gelatin, the process of printing the work himself – which he sees a devotional experience – is as important to Isakov's black and white photographs as the shooting of the image itself. The final works lend themselves to a state of quiet contemplation and transcendence, the emotive tension apparent across the photograph's surface.

"From the split between the black and white lines of the photograph, you should be able to hear the same sound that you can hear when you tear in two pieces the fabric of a shirt. It should be the same tension in a black and white photograph, as in that shirt, that is about to rip."SI

Mdina Biennale Venues