Misha Pedan - The End of la Belle Epoque
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The pictures collected in this book were made between 1986 and 1989, at the very end of the era of socialism. The fall of the Soviet regime, according to one perspective, is the central revolutionary event of our time; according to another, it represents its greatest geopolitical catastrophe. Both outlooks, however, presuppose a rapid dynamic in the movement of time, whether in its revolutionary overhaul, or in its collapse. In Misha Pedan's work, however, one observes neither a catastrophe nor a revolution. Time has loosened its grip; it has lost its heroic thrust forward and upwards. A group of athletes run a relay race that starts under a sign saying "Finish". In Eisensteins black and white movie "Battleship Potemkin" from 1925 the flag hoisted on the boat is red, hand-coloured in every film frame, in every copy of the film. In "The End of la Belle Epoque" the red flag in one of the pictures is hand-coloured red in every copy of the book. Misha Pedan lowers the flag with the same respect as it once upon a time was hoisted.