Review: No Direction Home by Andrej Krementschouk


Book Reviews, Photobooks


Andrej Krementschouk was born in a city then known as Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), Russia. His career include a completed apprenticeship as a restorer of icons and metal objets d’art, and a diploma degree as chorus director, work as a freelance jeweller and restorer of icons, a diploma degree in Communication Design, with a focus in photography, the latter in Germany: Here is a true wanderer between the worlds. No Direction Home takes him back to Russia, as a photographer, to create a very intimate study of the country, and that means his own roots.

I see No Direction Home as a book that breathes the same spirit as Andrew Phelps’ Higley: It’s about an unquantifiable loss, about being away from a home that despite its familiarity has become an alien place (as I wrote in the Higley review, my perception is based on being an expat).

No Direction Home tells a very powerful story, and it does so entirely relying on its imagery. I am slightly confused about its edit - some very weak images should have been left out - but there is a large number of stunningly beautiful photographs in the book; and after a string of books about Russia by non-Russians, it’s very refreshing to see something we simply haven’t seen in this form before.

I had not been familiar with Andrej Krementschouk’s work, and the publisher sending me his book was a very pleasant surprise - a surprise that shows that often there are gems coming from publishers which don’t have the name recognition of the big, usual suspects and whose books might be a bit harder to find (of course, in this day and age, you can simply order the book online). No Direction Home is one of those gems.

No Direction Home, photography by Andrej Krementschouk, introduction by Boris Mikhailov, tri-lingual, 112 pages, Kehrer Verlag