Tea Coffee Cappuccino?

Boris Mikhailov

Tea Coffee Cappuccino

(Text in English, German and Russian)
  1. Boris Mikhailov
  • ISBN 9783865608772
  • 20.40 x 28.70 cm
  • Hardback
  • 240pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2011
  • Distributed on behalf of Walther König

A beautifully produced monograph from the acclaimed Ukranian photographer Boris Mikhailov

For Boris Mikhailov, a society's most significant paradigm shifts are often most clearly perceived in the smallest of everyday transactions. For example, in a café or restaurant in the Soviet-era Ukraine, a waiter would have offered you ‘tea or coffee?’. Today, two decades after the fall of the Soviet bloc and the ascent of western capitalism, it's ‘tea, coffee, cappuccino?’.

In his latest body of work, Mikhailov addresses this shift by focusing on his hometown of Charkow, in the north east of the Ukraine. Here, the consumerist invasion of western capitalism is everywhere apparent in huge, colourful advertising banners and billboards, but the promises of the so-called Orange Revolution seem to have been fulfilled for only a few.

Mikhailov writes that ‘only when one sees misery in a picture, does one begin to notice it in the street’, and throughout the 200-plus photographs in this
volume, he takes pains to neither dramatize nor ameliorate the conditions of life in Charkow; and so his tough-minded pictures present a bleak but rigorously honest portrait of the Ukraine and its inhabitants.

Boris Mikhailov was born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1938. He uses documentary as well as staging and studio techniques to comment on the Soviet Regime and, latterly, the downfall of the Soviet Union. His work has appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (NewYork), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Kunsthalle (Zurich), and the Sprengel Museum (Hannover).Today, Mikhailov lives and works in both Charkow and Berlin.