Sarcophagus over a closed shaft which is 4 km deep, one of the deepest scientific shafts in the world at the time. Russia, Murmansk region, 2014

Archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle paper.

72 x 90 cm.

Edition 6 of 6.

Signed on the verso.


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The series received a number of international awards including European Publishers Award For Photography, Burn Magazine grant, and included in the Dutch magazine Foam Talents. The series was published in such magazines as BBC Culture, The Guardian, IMA Magazine, GUP Magazine, British Journal of Photography.

The project "Restricted Areas" is about the human impulse towards utopia, about our striving for perfection through technological progress.

Humans are always trying to own ever more than they have—this is the source of technical progress. The byproducts of this progress are various commodities as well as the tools of violence in order to hold power over others. Better, higher, stronger—these ideals often express the main ideology of governments. To achieve these standards, governments are ready to sacrifice almost everything. Meanwhile, the individual is supposed to become a tool for reaching these goals. In exchange, the individual is promised a higher level of comfort.

For "Restricted Areas," I traveled in search of places which used to hold great importance for the idea of technological progress. These places are now deserted. They have lost their significance, along with their utopian ideology which is now obsolete. Many of these places were once secret cities, that did not appear on any maps or public records. These places were the sites of forgotten scientific triumphs, abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity. The perfect technocratic future that never came.

Any progress comes to its end earlier or later and it can happen for different reasons—nuclear war, economic crisis, natural disaster. What's interesting for me is to witness what remains after the progress has ground to a halt.

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Desktop  danila tkachenko


Danila Tkachenko (Moscow, 1989) explores isolation, destitution, and human identity through his pictures. His work in the field of documentary photography has received considerable acclaim, with a focus on his series "Restricted Areas", that portrays the once era-defining innovations of the Soviet Union in their current abandoned, almost black and white state. "Restricted Areas" earned Tkachenko the first prize in Staged Portraits at the World Press Photo contest, Netherlands (2014), and he was the recipient of the European Publishers Award for Photography (2015).

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