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I AM NOT I is an iconic series of self-portraits made by Boris Mikhailov in the early 1990s right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Acting for the camera, the artist plays the role of an antiheroic figure contrasting with the strong and masculine stereotype previously connected with the regime, whose echo reverberates through he pure and sober black and white adopted for every imagers. Mikhailov, who always investigated the boundaries of photography and its connections with other disciplines, here combines it with the atmosphere and the grammar of theatre. The viewers attend a performance that is reminiscent of the tradition of the Theatre of the Absurd, with the protagonist alone, naked, and handling a sex toy in every possible way. Although his irrational behaviour might at first glance appear like an act of celebration and relief at the end of a a grim era, through repetition it soon turns into an allegory of fear for an uncertain future – it seems like a performance for itself and the camera. The photographic frame is the prison of the performer who, unlike the photographer, cannot look beyond the dark cloth behind him.
64 pages 24 x 33 cm
printed duo tone on uncoated paper
Limited edition di 500