I, Oblomov

I, Oblomov
Author: Ikuru Kuwajima
Publisher: Photobookfest Moscow
Language: English
Pages: 144
Size: 24 x 19.5 cm
Weight: 526 g
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 9785905196041
Price: €35.00
Product Description

I, Oblomov is an ode to the novel Oblomov, written in the mid-19th century by the Russian writer Ivan Goncharov. More than 150 years later, it still remains a key to deciphering the Russian mentality, which for centuries has both perplexed and captivated foreign travelers in the region. The novel’s hero, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, is a wealthy landowner living in St. Petersburg. He is a humane and gentle man, but above all he is passive in the extreme. Day after day, he lies on the couch, absent-mindedly receiving a stream of visitors. Lost in aimless reveries, he seems incapable of even the simplest actions; horrified at the prospect of work, he also seems to have no appetite for life beyond his sluggish routine. Whether this is pure laziness, or a stoic wisdom, Oblomov’s strange lethargy – or “Oblomovshchina” (Oblomovism) – continues to be a powerful force in Russia today. In this project, I offer my own interpretation of this distinctly Russian phenomenon through a series of self-portraits and interior photographs taken over the course of my travels in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. As the images show, I often found myself lying down for long periods, overcome by depression, laziness, bad weather or hangover – evidence that after nine years of living in the former USSR, Oblomovshchina can also become the reality of a Japanese photographer.