Vaste Programme

Works / The Long Way Home of Ivan Putnik, Truck Driver

The Long Way Back Home of Truck Driver Ivan Putnik addresses the themes of ‘verofiction’ through the adoption and reuse of images found on the internet. The first part of the work took the form of a photobook, the second will be an exhibition.

The Long Way Home of Ivan Putnik, Truck Driver is a project that is born first of all as a photobook. A photobook about a journey, undertaken by a Russian truck driver, Ivan Putnik, to reunite with his wife and son, after driving across all of Siberia from east to west, through locations few people will ever see, and through some of the most isolated, remote lands in the world. What is extraordinary is that, while doing so, he took some remarkable pictures with a camera a friend had given him. He also took notes alongside his photographs, commenting on the images, recording his thoughts, writing down names and places. The subsequent result, with Putnik’s images and texts selected and edited by the curators, is a surprising yet clear and simple visual diary. Or so it appears.

Truly the book dwells with the themes of post-truth and post-photography, and pertains in fact to the genre of verofiction. To the reader who may not notice anything unusual throughout the pictures in the book, in the final pages it is explained how, above the Arctic Circle in Russia, Google Street View is almost non existing and how the only things to be found on Google Maps are 360° pictures taken by common Russian users and uploaded on the server. Many of these images are worth looking at – even more because they are not the result of a camera set to shoot every ten meters, but they are the result of the choice to take a picture made by someone. All the images in the book were selected from this wide archive to form a route that fits the exact locations where these photographs were taken and geolocalized. All the rest is entirely fictional and purely imaginary.

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