3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A stunning visual meditation on contemporary Russia,
This review is from: Motherland (Hardcover)
Bought it on a whim after reading the rave reviews and wasn't disappointed. The pictures have a quietness and an elegance to them which is so different from the brutal stereotypes we often get of Russia from the media.
I particularly liked the wry observations and moments of humour - like the stall holder at Pyatigorsk meat market who wears a frilly apron over her huge padded jacket, the hideous duvets on hotel beds and the mangy stuffed bears forlornly gnawing a bush in some provincial museum.
The portraits seem to look but not touch, letting you make up your own mind about the subjects, who they might be and what they might think. As for the landscapes and interiors, some of them are so exquisite you can hardly believe the thing that has been photographed is so prosaic: the filtered, algae green light that infuses the entrance to a food market in Khabarovsk is one example.
Despite all the aestheticism, it's nice that the book is anchored in reality with informative captions about every photograph and a key showing each place visited during Roberts' 75,000km journey through Russia.