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Alexey Titarenko created the series of collages and photomontages that became Nomenklatura of Signs from 1986-1991, under the strict Soviet rule. This new publication presents the series in its entirety for the first time and includes a satirical story written by Titarenko few months before the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Working in secret, Titarenko conceived the series as a way to translate the visual reality of Soviet life into a language that expressed its absurdity, in a hierarchy of symbols that, together, formed a nomenclature — or, in Russian, nomenklatura, a term for the system by which government posts were filled in the Soviet Union. Drawing inspiration from the aesthetics of Malevich, Rodchenko, and other artists of the early 20th century Russian avant-garde, Titarenko captures an uncanny, darkly comic world in which language is controlled and subverted much like the Newspeak of George Orwell’s novel 1984.

Nomenklatura of Signs includes essays by writer Jean- Jacques Marie, art historian Gabriel Bauret, and curator and art historian Ksenia Nouril. The book is designed by Kelly Doe Studio, New York; printed by Tabula Rasa, St. Petersburg; and published by Damiani editore.

Published by Damiani editore
ISBN 978-88-6208-699-8
Hardcover, 120 pages


alexey titarenko: The City is a Novel (2015)

Selected as one of the best photography books of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal, The City is a Novel is the first major monograph devoted to photographer Titarenko's thirty-year career.

Published in Italy by Damiani editore, the book features over 140 photographs of Titarenko's work in St. Petersburg, Venice, Havana, and New York. The City is a Novel also includes a short autobiographical story City of Shadows and essays by curator, writer, and art historian Gabriel Bauret; Brett Abbott, curator of photography at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and Sean Corcoran, curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York. Damiani writes, "Famous for introducing long exposure and intentional camera movement into street photography, Titarenko created powerful metaphors to document the century's historic changes. His haunting, ghostlike images have become icons of the era of the collapse of the Soviet state."

Published by Damiani editore
ISBN 978-8862084147
Hardcover, 208 pages


Alexey Titarenko: Photographs (2003)

This book was nominated for the Best Photography Book of the Year's prize (International Arles Festival, France 2004) 

Published by NAILYA ALEXANDER, Washington D.C. 2003
Photographs by Alexey Titarenko
Essay by curator and art historian Gabriel Bauret
Text in French and English
ISBN 978-097439910


City of Shadows (2001)

Published by ART TEMA, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Photographs by Alexey Titarenko
Essay by Irina Chmyreva

Text in Russian and English (translated by John Nicolson, edited by Kay Alexander)
ISBN 978-5942580056

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Galerie Municipale du Château d'Eau, Toulouse: 21 juin - 4 septembre 2000
Published by the city of Toulouse with the participation of the French Ministry of Culture, 2000
Introduction by Gabriel Bauret
ISBN 2-913241-20-4


Black and White Magic of St. Petersburg (1996)

Alexey Titarenko: The Photographs from the Cycle Black and White Magic of St. Petersburg
Published by Soros Center for Contemporary Art on the occasion of the exhibition "Black and White Magic of St. Petersburg," Grand Hall of D. Shostakovich Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg, 24 May - 9 July 1996

With an essay in Russian and English by Georgy Golenky, art critic, member of the Russian Union of Artists, and Head of the Department of New Trends in Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum. Translated by John Nicolson. It was later translated to French by Nathalie Bessis-Dernov




short story (1991)

English version (PDF) (Translated by John Nicolson)
Russian version (PDF)