Infrastructures is a research-based photo project about the post-Soviet political economy in Russia, created in 2016-2019, by Sergey Novikov and Max Sher.
Using documentary and staged photography, as well as writing, they look at and reflect on the political and cultural significance of both the physical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, pipelines, etc., and infrastructure of thinking, discourse, and control that historically underpin the functioning of the State and power.
The artists thus take on the role of cultural critics to call into question the often simplistic but still dominating visual and conceptual tropes applied to the post-Soviet area. The holistic project consists of 50 chapters each with photographs and an essay (in Russian and English) written by the artists themselves.
By combining photographs and writing, Novikov and Sher also explore complex relationships and roles of photography and text within one body of work. The 360-page photobook Infrastructures was published in 2019 under the artists’ own micro-publishing imprint Recurrent Books with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
The project’s dedicated website with a selection of chapters as well as book images, installation photos and events can be found here.