The City of GUM
Exhibition: – 30 Jan 2014
Wed 18 Dec 19:00
POBEDA gallery GUM presents a new photo-project "The City of GUM”.
This year the GUM celebrates a double jubilee – 120 years from the opening of the Upper Trading Rows by Alexander Pomerantsev (finished in 1893) and 60 years older reopening of the GUM, as a State Department Store (1953).
The GUM lives a life of a perfect trading world as it was planned to and it seems that there were no collapses and loses during this 120 years. Store has retained all happiness and brightness that XX century had. Every day, in 10 AM we see awaking of life, the lights of the showcase turns on, the fountain starts working and the open doors invite guests. This place became legendary, almost as a fairytale, so sometimes it seems that the GUM works by magic. In fact, all of the beauty, warmth and cozy are based on the people that nobody knows personally. They are engineers, locksmiths maintainers, custodians, accountants, stewards and many others, who supports life in the Main Universal Store. They are the main characters of the photo project "The City of GUM”.
The opening of the exhibition and book presentation is scheduled for December 18 in POBEDA gallery in the GUM.
The author of the project, photographer, Anastasia Khoroshilova:
"… Contemporaries never tired of admiring them. For long after-wards they remained a point of attraction for foreigners. (Walter Benjamin; Paris – Capital of the Nineteenth Century)
Words, that Walter Benjamin used for the Paris arcades, suit as well for the most known russian arcade – «Main Department Store». I didn’t use capital letters in the name of the GUM by chance, that’s the way the store exists in the mentality of russians, more then 120 years. The project title has appeared by itself, “The City of GUM” has a social attractiveess, which is borded by a belief in fairy, fabulous coasts.
The staple of the concept of the portrait project is a staff. Working in the GUM more than a quarter centuary, they become a “citizens” of this “city”. Communication with the project protagonists and walks in the places hidden from the eyes of the ordinary visitor, allowed me a moment to get on their territory.
Desertet in the early mornings and late evenings, that’s the way, how only the regulars can see the GUM. Arcades freeze and only dedicated are the sitlent witnesses of this modus, being alone with it. The features of the architectual shape, as stalls, passages, dead ends, corridors and basements evoke sensation of a big city, tangle of arteries and viens of the mighty body, legendary social and architectual space.”