These photos were taken when I visited small suburban towns and villages of Russia. I live in the outskirts of Moscow, but in spite of that I rarely photograph there. I feel alienated by hassle and crowds of the big city and prefer the quiet everyday life of Russia’s provinces. That’s why I grasp at every opportunity to go to some small town or village in the countryside, away from Moscow. This is where I look for inspiration for my work.
In Russia one can feel the difference between the capital and the provinces, the middle and the periphery, like nowhere else. Even the word “province” itself has some special meaning in modern Russian language: it means “all the country, except its capital”.
When you leave Moscow for the provinces, you feel like you’re crossing a border between two different worlds, the feeling of space changes so the feeling of time does. In big cities the space is closed, limited by the buildings walls, time is concentrated, it is always not enough. The space of the provinces appears to be endless, it spreads towards the horizon, and the time runs slow, almost by itself.
In the provinces you feel you want to walk. The more space, the more your feet can cross. The slower time flows the less you hurry. The regular life goes slow. One can find it gray and boring; other can find there something the capital does not have: the feeling of the ground and nature, the escape from city bustle.
Emil Gataullin, born in 1972, is a Russian photographer, based in Korolyov, Moscow Region, Russia. In 1999 he graduated from Moscow Surikov Institute of Art, majoring in monumental painting. He studied photography with one of the leading Russian photography ideologists and authors, Alexander Lapin, from 2003 to 2004.
Since the late 90s, Emil has worked on many projects that were published in GEO, LFI, Black+White Photography, Schwarzweiss, Russian Reporter and many other magazines and online media. His photography was shown in solo exhibitions in Germany, France, Italy and Russia. He won many awards including Monovisions Photography Awards 2017, PhotoVisa 2015, The Alfred Fried Photography Award 2014. And his book "Towards the Horizon" was published by Edition Lammerhuber in 2016.