ASX.TV: Rob Hornstra – “Picture Perfect” (2011)

In this episode of Picture Perfect, VBS goes on assignment with Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra to Sochi, Russia as he continues to captures the city as it exists before it is thrust into the international spotlight as host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. This time around, Hornstra is photographing lounge singers in restaurants, cabarets and hotel lobbies.

An advocate for “slow journalism”, the Netherlands-based documentary photographer produces work over long periods of time, involving himself in the changes that occur over the breadth of years. His work is characterized by a stylized rawness, with a large dose of intrinsic engagement.

In 2014, the Olympic Games will take place in Sochi, Russia. Never before have the Olympics been held in a region that contrasts more strongly with the glamour of the games. Just 20 kilometers away is the conflict zone Abkhazia. To the east, the Caucasus Mountains stretch into obscure and impoverished breakaway republics such as Cherkessia, North Ossetia and Chechnya. On the coast, old Soviet sanatoriums stand shoulder to shoulder with the most expensive hotels and clubs of the Russian Riviera.

Hornstra and writer/filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen have joined together on The Sochi Project to document the changes in and around Sochi over the course of the next five years. The Sochi Project will be a dynamic mix of documentary photography, film and reportage about a world in flux; a world full of different realities within a small, but extraordinary geographic area.

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