Soviet Signs and Street Relics
French photographer Jason Guilbeau has used Google Street View to virtually navigate Russia and the former USSR, searching for examples of a forgotten Soviet empire. From remote rural roadsides to densely populated cities, the photographs reveal traces of history in plain sight: a Brutalist hammer and sickle stands in a remote field; a jet fighter is anchored to the ground by its concrete exhaust plume; a skeletal tractor sits on a cast-iron platform; a village sign resembles a Constructivist sculpture. Passers by seem oblivious to these objects.
This collection of photographs portrays a surreal reality: it is a document of a vanishing era, captured by an omniscient technology that is continually deleting and replenishing itself – an inadvertent definition of Russia today.