Anastasia Khoroshilova



Anastasia Khoroshilova is an artist and photographer born in 1978 in Moscow. Studied photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts (Essen, Germany). Her work has been shown in many solo and group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2011).

Aside from her artistic activity, she also teaches at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia.


Starie Novosti (Old News)

In the fall of 2004 Beslan, a city in the Northern Caucasus, Russia, became known worldwide as the scene of one of the cruellest and most inhumane terrorist acts. On the first day of that school year, a group of terrorists attacked Beslan's School No. 1 and occupied it for several days. More than 1.000 hostages were held by the terrorists from September 1 until September 3, 2004 – children, their mothers and their teachers. Over three hundred people, mostly children, died in this monstrous act of terrorism. The tragedy radically transformed and lastingly affected the lives of every resident. The organizers of the terrorist act have not been found and brought to trial to date.

My work deals with transience, pliability and frailty of the society´s collective memory. How quickly do individuals delete their own feelings and reactions to events? How quickly does the society delete things that transform its characteristics and alter its structure? How easily, even unconsciously, does society become used to the speed and rhythm of information flow carried in the mass media?
The photographs of mothers, who lost their children during the hostage drama were taken in 2010, when I was visiting Beslan. There is a footage of the news from 1-3.09 2004 (in the loop, shown on mini-tv monitors in different languages) in the installation of the work opposite of the lightboxes with the portraits.


Kasaniya (Tracks)

Karelia is one nature, but it has different views and politics. The place, where European history was written a couple of decades ago, seems to be somehow forgotten. The Russian - Finnish border is one of the outer borders of the EU. For many people living outside this area, it is the promise of better life: sometimes full of hope, and sometimes it is a tragic crash of their dreams. I travelled through Karelia in Finland and in Russia, asking people I met to take me to the places important just for them and their family.
It was like a voyage through the history and fate of both countries, drifting from yesterday to today and back. I confronted Russian – Finish war, concentration camps, GULAG, the White Sea Channel, new borders, resettlements of the population and migration nowadays, runes and fairy tales, but also everyday realities with common, contemporary destinies: Large families and single mothers, immigrants, veterans, Karelian and not Karelian, prejudices and fears, love and friendship, pain, hurt and joy, memory and forgetfulness. Human memory adapts easily to circumstances, we forget very fast.
History and destinies are firmly knotted, mixed with each other. Everyone has its version. Karelia is a remarkable social historical space and reflection of our social reality in Europe. One part of the work are also the letters, which were send to me by people I photographed for this project. The work consists of 85 images and letters.



I visited Baltiysk (Russia) in 2005. As a military area under special administration, it has become accessible to the Russian public only in the past few years. Baltiysk is the home port of the Russian East-Sea Fleet. Foreigners wishing to visit Baltiysk must obtain a special permit.

In 1945 with the Potsdam Agreement the northern parts of East Prussia came under Soviet rule and Pillau was renamed "Baltiysk". By then much of the German population had already fled, and Stalin deported the rest within days. Most of the new inhabitants were Soviet military personnel, with only a few civilian settlers, people had lost all of their belongings during the war and were now "transplanted" to East Prussia. This "new population" suddenly found itself living in conditions and in an atmosphere of a foreign civilization, which it did not understand.

Today the town is a symbiosis of Soviet urban architecture, German buildings from the 19th and 20th century, and a fortress from the 14th century. The majority of the town dwellers are navy officers and career soldiers, and their families, as well as conscripts doing their military service at this navy outpost.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the northern part of East Prussia has become an enclave surrounded by Lithuania and Poland, which are new EU member-states. Almost all of the inhabitants hope that they will be transferred elsewhere. Baltiysk is no one’s home.