At Dusk


110 gelatin silver prints on paper, hand toned

13,3 × 29,6 cm

“What’s important is to represent not an event but one’s relationship with the world. And yet I think that this relationship should concern everyone. Although a situation is represented through a personal viewpoint, it concerns social processes that are common, shared,” explains the artist. This twilight blue colour evokes the traumatic memories of his childhood, linked to the Second World War: “Blue for me is the color of the blockade, of hunger and war... I can still remember the bombings, the howling sirens and the searchlights in the wonderful, dark-blue sky.”
His often chilling panoramic photographs taken with a “horizon” camera create an unusual and unsettling visual language that highlights this new social reality. Dark and uncompromising street scenes show people queuing for food or huddling around a makeshift fire. The stifling atmosphere is reinforced by tightly framed images sometimes captured at hip height or from above, offering an atypical, distanced, and voyeuristic point of view on the inhabitants and landscapes of Kharkiv. 
As the title suggests, these images were captured at that moment of slippage when daylight gives way to darkness. Mikhailov sees it as an elegiac metaphor for Ukraine’s transition to independence after years of communist rule. At Dusk goes beyond the conventional tropes of documentary photography, creating a hybrid form between documentary and conceptual work.
This powerful series evokes the conflict and tragedy into which the Ukrainian people have been thrust since the beginning of the hostilities unleashed by the Russian government on 24 February 2022.