Photographs by Misha Friedman at Long Hall Gallery, Ste. 440. Photo 51: Is Corruption in Russia’s DNA?”Like threads of DNA spiraling in ladder formation, Russia’s reliance on corruption for its basic functioning is both commonplace and breathtaking. Starting this project, I knew I did not want the aggressive expressions of it; I could avoid ostentatious nightclubs, would not need to listen at keyholes, nor to sniff out connections with criminals. Really, all I needed was Russia itself. And once I got to St. Petersburg and Moscow, to little towns in Karelia and the Urals, it took no more than a drive or a walk to see it manifested everywhere: the grove of birches banded delicately with crime-scene tape; the crew setting up the Scarlet Sails festival; even a lone car driving down a curving road at night.
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