The opening of the exhibition “ The Song of Tkvarcheli” by Maria Gruzdeva and the presentation of the book of the same name conclude the first edition of the contest held in the memory of well-known architecture and landscape photographer Gabriele Basilico, a joint initiative of the Order of Architects of the Province of Milan, Studio Gabriele Basilico and Fondazione Studio Marangoni. The prize consists of a 15,000 euro fund set aside every two years for the publication and exhibition of a photographic project, offering a concrete opportunity for a young photographer (U35).
“The Song of Tkvarcheli”, the project created by contest winner Maria Gruzdeva, tells the story of the transformation of the city of Tkvarcheli in Abkhazia, a region in the Caucasus between Russia, Georgia and the Black Sea. Tkvarcheli, the first “coal town” of the Soviet era, is now a ghost town with a post-apocalyptic look.
Maria Gruzdeva represents the city through three forms of narration: landscape, people, and documents. Her photographic story immediately, spontaneously and profoundly analyses what remains of the city, its industrial economy and its inhabitants after the end of an economic and social age and the war in the area that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. In a number of particularly significant images, nature has reclaimed majestic human constructions, turning buildings into what appears to be “the ruins of a mysterious, unreachable ancient civilisation” (Maria Gruzdeva).
Title: The Song of Tkvarcheli
April 14 through 29, 2017
Fondazione Riccardo Catella, Via Gaetano de Castillia 28, Milan
Monday through Friday 9:00 – 17:00
Photographs: Maria Gruzdeva