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Constructivism in Russia

In September 2013, the G20 Summit was held in the city of Saint-Petersburg. For the occasion, the international news agency FSUE Russian Agency of International Information «RIA Novosti» commissioned 21 internationally renowned photographers (each originating from countries of the G20) to produce a reportage on Russia. The ensemble of their work resulted in an exhibition in the Marble Palace of Saint-Peterburg and the printing of a publication.

Guillaume Zuili was chosen to represent France. The topic he was tasked to tackle was in direct link with his own preferred themes: he took shots of constructivist architecture in the cities of Moscow and Yekaterinburg (Ural). The work of Guillaume Zuili questions, right from the start, cities' memories. Also, how could he not completely immerse himself in the memorial and architectural landmarks of these buildings raised at the turn of the century, by the structure of their façades, their ornamentation, and the strength in the typography of their signage to be found.

Constructivism, an architectural, pictorial and photographic movement, developed in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. An emblem of the Russian revolution, it has marked Art and Avant-garde histories, with major figures such as Kasimir Malévitch or Alexander Rodtchenko. Rodtchenko, whose influence is inescapable in the Guillaume Zuili's work, for whom, while shying away from plagiarism, it is a proof of photographic reminiscence of the European Avant-garde movements. As such, this photographer, who had devoted himself, for the past 10 years, to the exploration of the American territory and its mythology, produced, in the East this time, a series of colour double-exposures that run through and invite to discover this great historical, artistic and political time in Russia.

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