“The way the international audience perceives Russian photography is often based on ‘exoticism’, that builds a pernicious stereotyping around Russian art,” say the makers of Attention Hub. “We show the artists who speak an intercultural and international language, pushing imaginary boundaries.”
Put together by FotoDepartament, the respected St Petersburg gallery, publisher, and arts centre, Attention Hub’s premise is simple – to harness the international reach of the internet to promote a hand-picked selection of emerging Russian photographers. Prints of the photographers’ work can be bought online for as little as €220, with half the price going to the photographer; the rest of the money will go towards building a programme of international events and initiatives to promote their work.
“Online is a dynamic and accessible format, providing the maximum audience coverage from anywhere in the world,” runs the site’s introductory text. “The combination of technology, digitalisation of information consumption, and trends of selling art online all build new ways of overcoming physical boundaries and setting up the convenient and focused support that independent art needs.”
Picked out by curator Nadya Sheremetova, nearly 50 photographers have been included in Attention Hub’s initial, including image-makers such as Igor Samolet, Irina Yulieva, and Anastasia Tsayder, who were included in FotoDepartament’s publishing initiative Amplitude No.1 last year. Photographers such as Danila Tkachenko, Andrey Bogush, and Mary Gelman, who have already picked up recognition from international institutions such as BJP, FOAM, and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, are also included.
“Artists need mobility: their work should appear on international events. Unfortunately, an independent artist with a solid project is not necessarily someone who can afford a trip, an exhibition or any other form of project implementation. In Attention Hub we collect a budget in order to make future events possible. In addition to names’ presentation, the platform sets out a direction for Russian artists’ united movement on the international stage.”