July 1, 2015 - August 2, 2015
Image © Mila Teshaieva
Between 2010 and 2013, artist Mila Teshaieva photographed three former Soviet republics on the shores of the Caspian Sea: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. The artist’s series tells of the challenges these newly formed states and their citizens face as they continue to forge independent national identities while simultaneously taking on the responsibilities of managing the region’s vast oil and gas reserves. The quiet, muted colors found in each image mirror the repressed uncertainties and anxieties of the people living in these countries, as they wait, hope, wish for, and imagine a future that is yet to arrive.
“The photographs of Promising Waters take viewers on a subtle and complex journey through the new oil region: from the facades of modern capitals to tiny fishing villages; from individual stories of people to the fresh symbols of pride inflicted [on them] by their governments. The silent tension is seen in landscapes marked by the presence of people…lost between new and old values. An atmosphere of insecurity goes through the work; many expectations are pinned on transformations whose direction remains uncertain.”
Mila Teshaieva (b. 1974, Ukraine) has exhibited internationally, with recent solo shows at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Museum Kunst der Westküste in Föhr,Germany. She has received multiple awards, including Photolucida’s Critical Mass Book Award, the PDN Annual award, the National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism award, and the Prix de la Photographie Paris. Her work has also been supported by grants from the VG Bild-Kunst art foundation and the Robert Bosch Foundation. Tehshaieva’s first monograph, Promising Waters, was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2013; she currently lives and works in Berlin.