Case History
Case History
Case History
Case History

Case History

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Bumped on one corner + Dust jacket used
Publisher: Scalo
480 pages
Pictures: 400
Year: 1999
Text: Boris Mikhailov, Ilya Kabakov & Victor Tupitsyn
Comments: Hardcover under dust jacket, 245 x 185 mm. First edition, 1999. Text in english. In very good condition.
Included in The Photobook by Parr & Badger, vol.2, p. 309.

Boris Mikhailov, whose Unfinished Dissertation was published in 1998, focuses in Case History on what he believes is the result of the break-up of the former Soviet Union. Though Mikhailov considers the conditions of his particular place of residence for over fifty years crucial to his work, he is not providing a recollection of the specific history of Kharkov, Ukraine. Rather, he brings out the "condition humaine" in this city characterized by industry and factories, by newly installed Coca Cola billboards as well as socialist architecture. Kharkov provides the backdrop for Mikhailov's moving portraits describing the decay of both social structures and individual lives. We witness street kids taking drugs, adults in search of food, trying to re-install their social self by cleaning their bodies in the artist's own apartment. Despite devastating poverty, the women and men in Mikhailov's images look back at us with great dignity. Their eyes express an unbroken will to survive in a social system that has broken down completely. Mikhailov depicts the harshness of everyday life in a society not as far away from ours as we might think.

'Case History'" is not just a chronicle of the crass reality of a historical transition. It is a ravishing work of art offering a bold, radically candid perspective on the human body, its weakness, and mortality. Mikhailov shows us how history has inscribed itself on the bodies of these Ukrainian homeless. He investigates the gruesome physical marks of social change. Gentle and brutal, wry and sad, a book that presents life in all of its contradictions and extremes. (publisher's note)