Towards The Horizon
This series developed as I visited the small suburban towns and villages of Russia. It shows the lives of people, their relationships with each other and the places they live.
I have been taking photographs of provincial places for several years now. This is my main topic, I would say. I live close to Moscow, but don’t really take pictures there and take every single opportunity to go somewhere far away, to some small town or village. This is where I try to find some points of interest for my photographs. There is some charm, peculiar to provincial life that big cities do not have.
In Russia one can feel the difference between the capital and the provinces, the centre and the periphery like nowhere else. Even the word “provinces” itself has some special meaning in modern Russian language: it means “all the country, except its capital”. Moscow is the great capital, the only centre that dominates, while everything else just depends on it. Moscow is self-contained, focused on itself, has nothing to do with what happens outside its borders. This is a city of great opportunities, major life events happen here, while the provinces just look faceless and inferior from Moscow’s point of view.
When you leave Moscow for the provinces you feel like you are crossing the border between two different worlds, the feeling of space changes and so does the feeling of time. In the capital, space is closed, limited by the walls of buildings, time is concentrated, it is never enough. The space of the provinces appears to be endless, it spreads towards the horizon, and the time runs slow, almost by itself.
In the provinces you feel you want to walk. The more space, the more your feet can cross. The slower time flows the less you hurry. Regular life slows down. One person can find it grey and boring; another can find there something the capital does not have: the feeling of the earth and nature, the escape from city bustle.
Different space means different people. Yes, they can be not as smart as those who live in the cities, they demand much less, but at the same time they are much more real and open-minded, their honesty is what you want to believe in.
Emil Gataullin, born 1972 in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia.
Lived in Kazan till 1992, where he graduated from Kazan Art College. Then moved to Moscow, where he graduated from Surikov Art Institute.
2003-2004 Took lessons with Alexander Lapin, Russian photography ideologist and author.
2004 Moved to Korolyov, Moscow Region.
2005 Joined the Russian Union of Art Photographers.
2012 – “…Without words”, “Promgrafika” gallery, Moscow.
2012 – “XXI. My Pacific Ocean”, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
2012 – “Photographer’s view”, The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.
2011 – "Russia sacred", Russian orthodox church Saint-Michel-Archange, Cannes, France.
2009-2011 – "We", a travelling exhibition, held by the web-based community photopolygon.com, Novosibirsk, Krasnodar, Moscow, Yuzhno-Sahalinsk, Vladivostok.
2011 "A private holiday", Documentary Photography Center "FOTODOC", Moscow, Russia.
2010 – "Man in Motion", Manezh, St. Petersburg, Russia.
2009 – "Lapin school", Moscow, St. Petersburg, Russia.
2009 – "Human. The circles of being", Manezh, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Awards & Honours:
2010 – First national prize "Best photographer": "Best Photograph of The Year" nomination grand prize, "Everyday Life Photo" and "Art photograph" first prizes.
2010 – "People and events" nomination, a prize by Photojournalizm Development Foundation, third prize.
2009 – "My best photograph" competition by Epson, first prize in "Everyday life" section.
2005 – "Young Russian Photographers", prize winner.