- Caroline Kurze
In his series ‘Guardians’, photographer Andy Freeberg portraits elder women, who sit in Russian art museums and guard the collections. When looking at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. Freeberg found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over. In conversation they told him how much they like being among Russia’s great art. A woman in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery Museum even returns on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, since at home she would just sit on her porch and complain about her illnesses, ‘as old women do.’ Besides their stiff sitting posture and the motionless look there is a strange relation between the ladies and the works they watch over which adds a humorous touch to the series.