PIONEERS PALACE - ANTON POLYAKOV
Exhibitions, 13 July - 31 August 2019
18, Lebuh Bishop, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang
For 27 years, Transnistria - a narrow strip of land between Ukraine and Moldova, a length of about 125 miles - was an unrecognised state. The subjects of my story are young people who were born and grew up on this territory. At the same age as Transnistria I belong to this generation myself. The official culture, promoted by the authorities, is often boring and uninteresting to young people who were formed in the era of the Internet. They are not limited by the borders of one state and have the opportunity to form their own cultural identity by observing their peers from other countries. In Soviet times, the Palace of Pioneers was a place where teenagers could find their favoUrite occupation, a circle of similar interests. In my story this is a figurative concept. Young people would independently form their own sections or circles on interests, and the urban environment and the Internet space was used as a platform for self-expression.
Anton Polyakov is a freelance photographer, living and working in his birth city. The small town is the capital of Transnistria – the unrecognised Republic, legally part of Moldova but not actually controlled by it. Anton’s date of birth coincides with the date of establishment of the Republic which is located between Moldova and Ukraine and in political terms is considered Pro-Russian territory. He graduated from Transnistrian State University majoring in Geography. Since 2018, Anton has been working on the topic of masculinity. Using the example of Transnistria, he explores stereotypes associated with the image of men in post-Soviet countries and rethinks this image, creating new contexts.