Brian McKee and the 2014 Olympics in Russia

15 new works by photographer Brian McKee open at the Vogt Bernal gallery in New York today. Called “The Power Suites,” these photographs track the progress of the building in Sochi, Russia for the upcoming 2014 Olympics, with a focus on the impact on the natural environment. Currently one of the largest construction projects in the world, the Sochi countryside is being leveled in order to create an entire city and infrastructure to support the Olympics and the tourism it will bring to the small, coastal city.

McKee’s photographs are a work in progress that will continue throughout the construction. These first 15 show the massive natural landscapes that will be overrun with sports facilities, housing projects and mass transit in less than four years, raising not only environmental issues but also issues of creation and destruction, ultimately begging the question, is it worth it? McKee’s previous work has a similar sociopolitical bent, like his series of abandoned castles in Afghanistan.

“The Power Suites” runs through the end of the month at Vogt Bernal.