Boris Mikhailov

The Wedding: Challenging and provocative, Mikhailov's photographs document human casualties living in post communist Eastern Europe after the demise of the Soviet Union. They are unflinching and ruthless depictions of poverty and the homeless (also known as Bomzhes) living in the margins of Russia's new economic regime without social support or care. This series presents a simulated wedding between two homeless people often naked and in sexual poses, set amongst their own surroundings.

Mikhailov's photographs, often presented in these wry even humorous situations, only add to the absurdity of this tragic life. The onlooker experiences feelings of empathy and disgust as they guiltily absorb the content of these engaging yet horrifying pictures, peering into an unknown world of madness, destitution, longing and death in an un-redemptive portrait of outcast humanity. '

The Wedding is bound in imitation of a traditional wedding album, with faux-leather and gold-debossed lettering designed by calligrapher John Stevens. It is further finished off with a text by Adrian Searle.

Edition of 1000
58 Pages
24 X 23.5 cm


Boris Mikhailov (b. 1938 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) is one of the most important chroniclers of everyday life in a (post-) Soviet society. He studied electrical engineering at a technical university and began work as an engineer. He taught himself photography in the 1960s. Mikhailov’s early series from the 1960s and 1970s most frequently depicted personal images from everyday life, poverty, sexuality, despair, resignation and the decline of a forgotten Eastern- Europe - is consistency unvarnished and raw. Mikhailov has always focused on society’s outsiders. His works have been shown around the world in countries sola and group exhibitions, at institutions including Sprengel Museum, MoMA, Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Wien, and the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia. Boris Mikhailov lives and works in Kharkiv and Berlin.