Boris Mikhailov: Salt Lake
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merging from post-Soviet Ukraine, Mikhailov has steadily gained international acclaim for his documentary work of Ukrainian life both before and after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, culminating with his acceptance of the Hasselblad award for 2000. Salt Lake, a body of work from the mid-1980s, is both tragic and comic in its portrayal of the locals bathing-as though at a spa-in the refuse ponds of soda water factories in the Slavjansk region. Hardly medicinal, though rumored to be due to the high salt content left over from the production of soda water, the ponds are replenished by large drainage pipes which emerge from the bald and rocky landscape. Mikhailov is masterful in providing a surreal document of this unusual vacation spot.