Anastasiya Tsayder

Anastasia Tsayder / b. 1983, Russia / lives and works in Moscow


The 5th Ural Biennial Main Project features the work:
«Arsenal» (Installation, 2019)
Courtesy of the artist

Also presented work:
«Moscow Summer Olympic Games 1980» (Installation, 2012–2014)
Courtesy of the artist
The artist expresses her gratitude to the Shvabe Holding PR Department

Anastasia Tsayder uses documentary photography as a means for exploring cultural and social spheres in Russia today and how they connect to the recent past. In the two projects, she addresses the history of two landmark institutions and reveals the contradictions deeply ingrained in their structures. Arsenal (2019) is a visual inventory of photo cameras produced at the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant. Initially engaged in military production, the enterprise began as a producer of civilian goods; over time it became the largest manufacturer of photographic equipment in the USSR, going along with sighting and surveillance systems at the same time. Military and civilian products often share the same components, which highlights the connection between surveillance systems and photo equipment. Tsayder used a special printing technique—she hand developed these photos in the darkroom without using fixing spray—and so the photographic images are gradually going to fade because of their exposure to light. The fading process of these images poetically reminds us of the tools making images disappear from our cultural memory along with a glorious past. Tsayder’s emphasis on photography’s materiality and intimate processes begs the questions: What is the future of the image? How do we make images and how do we consume them? How can they continue to help us remember?

With a touch of almost surrealist bright colors, the series Moscow Summer Olympic Games (2012-2014) documents the changes happening to the 1980 Moscow Olympics’ infrastructure from a long-term perspective. The 1980 Olympics were considered the last glorious all-nation event that took place in the USSR. It was the last chance to prove the superiority of Socialist regime and ideas of Communism over Capitalism. Today many 1980 Olympic buildings do not blend into city structures. Initially conceived as messengers from the future, these building now look like aliens from the past.