Yangtze – The Long River

22 January – 12 March 2011

Galerie Camera Work
Kantstrasse 149
10623 Berlin

CAMERA WORK is pleased to exhibit Yangtze – The Long River by Nadav Kander and Pripyat and Chernobyl by Robert Polidori, certainly two of the most impressive series of recent photographic history. The photographs of both artists are striking reminders of the impact of mankind's intervention in its environment.

Nadav Kander’s photo series, awarded with the prestigious Prix Pictet in 2009, uniquely documents the rapid structural change along the Chinese Yangtze River. A monograph, published by HATJE CANTZ, with a foreword by former UN Secretary General Kofi A. Annan, accompanies the exhibition. Robert Polidori, on the other hand, belongs to the first photographers who in 2001 had access to the restricted zone of the Ukrainian industrial city of Pripyat and the nearby nuclear power station Chernobyl, with the nuclear accident having its 25th anniversary on April 26th, 2011.

Nadav Kander’s photographs, lacking sunlight and bathed in white haze and fog, reflect the epochal change of China. The Yangtze River, the lifeline of China and the third longest river in the world, has become a symbol of the constant and inexorable change of the nation. The photographer, born in Israel in 1961, has been revisiting the river over the course of two years, from 2006 to 2007. Here, the photographer focuses on the drastic consequences of the economic boom on mankind. Gigantic bridges, underneath which people are having a leisurely picnic, colossal buildings of concrete accommodating thousands of people, or enormous hills of rubble and mud, where a woman is doing the dishes, are in stark contrast with the last traces of the original nature, which in most places has remained only barely visible. The result is a detailed picture of a country where tradition and modernity are in enormous conflict.