“At Dusk” is a series produced in Kharkiv, Boris Mikhailov’s hometown in Ukraine, a territory on the road to independence after the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Each print in this series, tinted with a cobalt blue wash, is a personal account of events rather than a historical document. This twilight blue colour evokes the traumatic memories of the artist’s childhood, linked to the Second World War.
Dark and uncompromising street scenes show people queuing for food or huddling around a makeshift fire. The stifling atmosphere is reinforced by tightly framed images sometimes captured at hip height or from above, offering an atypical, distanced, and voyeuristic point of view on the inhabitants and landscapes of Kharkiv.
As the title suggests, these images were captured at that moment of slippage when daylight gives way to darkness. Mikhailov sees it as an elegiac metaphor for Ukraine’s transition to independence after years of communist rule.