Entrance to a meeting and conference room of the Kadyrov Museum complex in Grozny in Chechen Republic in Russia. This gun was used at the Chechen War.
In documenting a unique phenomenon, the German photographer Frank Herfort has journeyed to the most remote areas of the former Soviet Union. After the collapse of the regime, a strangely pompous architectural style sprung up throughout the new republic. It conflates the aesthetics of monumental Soviet architecture with the Western language of form seen in the twentieth century.
Frank Herfort travelled all over Russia for a photographic project that lasted several years, following the ideas of architectural photography and taking pictures of skyscrapers that had been quickly built after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The force and magnitude of these buildings appears bizarre, pompous and exotic; equally they evoke larger-than-life Soviet memorials. They express a longing for lost greatness and the ambition to go one better. Contextual contradictions however add another completely different grace note: the Russian residential buildings and faded idylls around the new constructions introduce a second level of meaning to the images, which poses questions and raises enigmas.BACK TO PHOTO