Created in 1984, the Photo Expo AssociationRussian: Ob'edinenie «Fototsentr» or Объединение «Фотоцентр» affiliated with the Russian Union of JournalistsRussian: Soyuz zhurnalistov Rossii or Союз журналистов России is extremely popular among lovers of photography. The aim of this centre is to promote the art of photography by means of exhibitions, with a focus on both journalist and street photography.
Located in Moscow’s central KhamovnikiRussian: Хамовники District, the Photo Expo building has a total exhibition area of 350 sq. m. and welcomes approximately 10,000 visitors annually. Three exhibition halls host themed photo exhibitions, with the biggest of the rooms taking up 100 sq. m. Photo Expo boasts an extensive archive of unique photographs and negatives, including some 200 photos and negatives made by photographers in the 19th and 20th centuries, 300 authentic photos and negatives related to the Second World War, and many more.
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History of the photo expo building
The building accommodating the exhibition venue deserves special attention. Built in the Constructivist style by a group of young ambitious architects between 1929 and 1931, it is included in the Russian Cultural Heritage Register. The aim of this architectural project was to mark the transition from standard multi-apartment bourgeois buildings to huge ‘Communal houses’, complete with common support services. The complex consists of two large residential buildings with a two-storey annex housing a laundry, a dining room, a kindergarten, a gym and a club.
The apartments in the ‘Communal house’ were compact and relatively functional, despite their modest area of only 33 to 37 sq. m. They were equipped with tiny kitchens, toilets and closets, deliberately small in size because socialist citizens were not to focus on their domestic life too much. The materials used in constructing the building were also quite unusual; they included concrete with the addition of reed, saw dust xylolite, cardboard panels and decoration paper.
Despite similar buildings having been built unsuccessfully in the past, the building at 8, Gogolevsky BoulevardRussian: Gogolevskiy bulvar or Гоголевский бульвар turned out to be comfortable to live in. It features big wide windows and high ceilings; today these upscale apartments cost a fortune and are often transformed into studios. Unconventional decorations combined with natural admixes make these apartments comfortable and warm, and residents are careful to maintain the building in pristine condition.
Activities of photo expo
Most press photographers representing notable Russian press and media agencies have put in an appearance at Phot Expo exhibitions since the founding of the centre, which holds regular exhibitions by modern press photographers, exhibitions of retro and historical photographs, as well as exhibitions which focus on a single artist. These are all-inclusive events featuring presentations by the photographers. Visitors to the exhibitions held at Photo Expo can not only view photographs, but also familiarize themselves with a variety of objects which contextualise the photographs, such as books, household items and handicrafts.
Based on its photographic exhibitions, the centre organizes festivals, travelling exhibitions and exchanges its exhibitions with those of other similar Russian and foreign organizations. Every spring, Photo Expo participates in the international Photo BiennaleRussian: Фотобиеннале held in Moscow, providing its exhibition space for this event. Professional and amateur photographers are offered seminars and workshops, classes and various educational events aimed at helping them master new technologies and exchange experiences. Photo Expo also runs a photo studio and a store specializing in selling photography equipment and other related items, along with a thrift store.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com