Featured in The Photobook: A History volume III
Photographer Igor Samolet closely follows a group of young Russian protagonists as they party through the night in condemned buildings, capturing rampant alcohol and drug use, reckless violence and destruction, and meaningless sex. Bizarre scenes between individuals unfold against a backdrop of urban decay, blazing fires and filthy interiors, while the series uses both documentary and staged photos to present its narrative. When the party is over, Samolet follows the group into a daytime aftermath of brutal hangovers, numbness and half-hearted attempts to pick up the pieces of normal life before the next wild night is upon them.
"From Russia with love comes Igor Samulet’s first book, which documents a group of Russian youngsters embarking on their damaged pursuit of happiness. be happy! is a chronicle of desperation for these Russian youths in a world that for them is spinning completely out of control. Image after image shows the mantra like repetition of their impetuous and increasingly hazardous behaviors. Not much hope. Beautifully made." — 10x10 Photobooks: Matthew Carson, Russet Lederman and Olga Yatskevich