Airplane – Amphibia with vertical take-off VVA-14,Russia, Moscow areaInk-jet print, 40 x 50 cm, 2009

Airplane – Amphibia with vertical take-off VVA-14,Russia, Moscow areaInk-jet print, 40 x 50 cm, 2009


Born in Moscow, Russia. 1989. 
Lives and works in Moscow.

”What was it? A fallen meteorite? Visit of dwellers of space abyss?”

The project « Restricted Areas » is about the human impulse towards utopia, about our striving for perfection through technological progress ! Humans are always trying to own ever more than they have—this is the source of technical progress. The by-products of this progress are various commodities as well as the tools of violence in order to hold power over others. Better, higher, stronger—these ideals often express the main ideology of governments. To achieve these standards, governments are ready to sacrifice  almost everything. Meanwhile, the individual is supposed to become a tool for reaching these goals. In exchange, the individual is promised a higher level of comfort. « For Restricted Areas, I travelled in search of places which used to hold great importance for the idea of technological progress. These places are now deserted. They have lost their significance, along with their utopian ideology which is now obsolete ». Many of these places were once secret cities that did not appear on any maps or public records. These places were the sites of forgotten scientific triumphs, abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity. The perfect technocratic future that never came ! Any progress comes to an end sooner or later; this can happen for different reasons—nuclear war, economic crisis, natural disaster. What’s interesting for me is to witness what remains after the progress has ground to a halt.

Nowadays there are lots of rumors about what could mean disaster for this civilisation. One way or another, nobody knows the precise answer to this question. I may only suppose that the inhabitants have finally lost control over the development of technology, and the ecological equilibrium was disturbed. Nature was destroyed. Industrial waste, residues from insane and desperate experiments in attempt to balance out the condition have contaminated the planet to such an extent that its population, stricken by the whole complex of genetic illnesses, was doomed to barbarism and inevitable extinction. However… I don’t know, I don’t know, there could be an infinite number of reasons, just remember that story of the flooded planet… In any case, we only deal now with the remnants of incomprehensible structures and devices, by which we can reconstruct only a rough portrait of the inhabitants and can only guess the causes of this tragedy.” 

Danila Tkachenko was born in Moscow in 1989. In 2014, he graduated from the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia, department of documentary photography (supervisor Valeriy Nistratov). In the same year he won the World Press Photo 2014 competition with the project Escape which he worked on for 3 years. In March 2015 he finished the project Restricted Areas which has already received a number of international awards including the European Publishers Award for Photography, Burn Magazine grant, and he was one of the Dutch magazine Foam Talents. The series was published in magazines like BBC Culture, The Guardian, IMA Magazine, GUP Magazine, the British Journal of Photography. At the moment, Danila Tkachenko is working on two projects which are being shot over a large part of Russian territory and several neighbouring countries.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist