Ilya Gershberg. Portraits of black and white history


Ilya Gershberg. Portraits of black and white history

The Museum of Odesa Modern Art with the support of the Embassy of the State of Israel and the Israeli Cultural Centre will present an exhibition of photographer Ilya Gershberg (Israel) from 3 March to 3 April 2016.

We live in a society (regardless of the name of the country at the moment), where for almost 100 years, to describe specific events in history, we have been content with only two colours replacing each other, depending on the change of ideological postulates: Black or White. There are no other colours… and there is no need – it is easier. It is easier for a person to make radical assessments.

But time passes, and we think about a balanced assessment of the past. Then we need eyewitnesses who are ready to testify. As objective as possible. In this case, first of all, photography comes to mind. After all, “to show objectivity” and “to look at the world through the lens” are styles of behaviour that are close in essence not only because of the same words. The metaphor of “photographic accuracy” is the highest praise for the quality of displaying something.

These days, evidence of black and white history from Ilya Gershberg is coming back to us. Although, it would be more correct to say that they were among us, but we did not pay proper attention to them.

Since the late 50’s Gershberg created his own, everyday, not staged history of the real Odessa. The black-and-white portrait of black-and-white time created by him for 30 years is unique. The preserved images fantastically accurately illustrate the true “Odessa Myth”.

Since the early 60’s, the life of Odessa’s unofficial art world began to arouse special interest in the artist. He is the author of the surviving photo of the legendary “Fence Exhibition” of 1967 (moreover: in the course of preparation for the exhibition another photo of this most important event for the history of culture was found in the MoOMA). Many photographic portraits of Odesa nonconformists and their friends were made by I.Gershcherg. Before us are portraits of the very history of the new art of Odesa, created by these, then very young and unknown people.


Vernissage – at 5 p.m. on 3 March 2016 at 5 Belinsky Street.