The contemporary mixed with the historical is on exhibition at “The New Past”, by artist Tamara Stoffers, which will be on display through June 30 at The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography (Russia). A showing that goes through its visitors while leaving possible stories to their imagination and creating a visual game, all at once.
The Dutch brand experiments on collage by mixing illustrations from old books, postcards, and newspaper clippings dating from the Soviet era, with the purpose of creating a new visual connection and transmitting the feeling of nostalgia for a time that was never lived.
The first time I found an old book on the URSS, I was enthralled by the visual language, the acknowledgment, and the unexpected contrast of the images. It was a very surreal and incomprehensible world.
Stoffers first got interested in the Soviet Union after visiting the
Soviet Design 1950-1980 exhibition (Rotterdam, Nethelands, 2015-2016), composed of over 500 design objects, furniture, textiles, toys, advertising posters, and archive material. The URSS left a strong cultural legacy displayed through the ideology of propaganda and its visual strength still manifests itself as reference point for some advertising ideologies.
The work begins by collecting everything that dates from that time: Lenin figures, antique dolls, and advertising campaign drafts, just to mention a few. A fundamental piece was the book
Portraits of Moscow, by Paul Hamlyn (1965). Those illustrations became a strong foundation for this work.