Sambo 70 / American Icons

Anastasia Khoroshilova

Anastasia Khoroshilova, born in 1978 in Moscow, belongs to the new generation of artists from “post-diaspora” Russia. Educated and living abroad, they see themselves as part of the international scene, not as emigrants. Khoroshilova’s acclaimed series Islanders documents a Russia inaccessible to tourists: a village, a military town, an orphanage, a dance academy and, in the newest addition to the project, Sambo 70, young wrestlers posing in gymnasia. The apparently cool objectivism of these works, and their unstudied poses – from Kutcher-esque swagger to Kruschevlike solidity – yield complex social and psychological studies.

American Icons covers every decade of the 20th century and illustrates the formative nature of photojournalism in documenting globalization as it was happening. While the history of photography is richly based in Europe, American photographers embraced it with exuberance. Stieglitz’s Steerage, documenting the first wave of transmigration in 1907, literally and figuratively changed the face of America. Yet it took a Swiss, Robert Frank, to show what the Americans really looked like. Such images and others – from the depression-era FSA and f64 group whose prints devised fantasies of escapism, to Arbus, Goldin and Winogrand – together depict the real American melting pot.