Niels Ackermann & Sébastien Gobert

Switzerland, 1987 - France, 1985
24 Jan - 04 Mar 2018

Looking for Lenin
24.01 – 04.03.2018


“Looking for Lenin”

Since the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 and almost 25 years after the collapse of the USSR, the established government has sought to erase all traces of its Soviet past and has launched an official wave of “decommunisation” reforms in the country, the first step of which consists in eradicating all symbols of the former regime.

Having witnessed the protests that took place in Maidan Square, Niels Ackermann and Sébastien Gobert went on a quest for a major symbol of a country’s communist past: statues of Lenin.  For two years, the duo photographed close to 70 statues and conducted as many interviews with their guardians and owners. This series unfolds in front of the viewer like a documentary-inventory, in a combination of unusual shots and ambivalent accounts. Delivering a curiosity-filled look at this once revered symbol of power and now harmless everyday object, Niels Ackermann and Sébastien Gobert illustrate the tensions, contradictions and complexity of the current situation in Ukraine.

In 2017, this exhibition was the subject of a book published by Fuel Publishing (Editions Noir sur Blanc for the French version).

 Shown for the first time in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, “Looking for Lenin” is a project produced by Fotostiftung Schweiz in association with Les Rencontres d’Arles