Material Light

In Summer 2012, Fedor made two journeys to one of the depopulated rural areas on the left bank of Volga River, 350 kilometres north of Moscow. He visited several abandoned villages located around former Soviet collective farms to document traditional rural houses and their deserted interiors. These looted houses stand in the landscape like frozen time machines, still holding the traces of their absent owners. He chose a selection of family photographs from the decaying buildings which fired his interest in abandoned family archives. He articulates these collections of images as alternatives to official histories that frequently conceal individual memory and personal attitudes. Some of the hand written notes on the backs of the photographs translate as follows: “To my dear nan, from Olechka”, “to long memory from husband Jenya”, “to my beloved grandma”, “In memory of 2nd May 1954. Friends of youth”.

Fedor Toshchev is a Russian visual artist. He got his BA and MA in economics from Moscow State University in 1997 and 1999 accordingly. In 2013, he received an MA in Photography from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.