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Construction works in "Ermitage" Eastern Wing

Letter from Contemporary St. Petersburg 0

Valentina Kirichenko, Art Centre "Pushkinskaya-10"
St. Petersburg

Spring fever hit St. Petersburg this year too. While snow fell everywhere from the rooftops, and the city’s residents took great pains to avoid falling icicles, the cultural life of the northern capital began to awaken from its long winter slumber.

The main event in new contemporary art was the First Spring Festival MART-TELPA (МАРТ-ПРОСТРАНСТВА), which took place from March 27 through April 2. On the opening day of the festival, two retro buses drove on a route connecting Petersburg’s new art spaces. The festival is actively supported by the art center Pushkinskaja-10, which was chosen as the starting point for the route. Essentially, the art center became one of the first legalized squats. Following its example, the practice of organizing lofts and creating new works of art in avant-garde conditions has become the norm.

The festival’s motto is “In the future everyone will be world famous for one day,” a paraphrase of a famous saying by Andy Warhol. For achieving fame for such a short time, the following places were chosen on the geographic map of St. Petersburg: the gallery Aleksy Sergiyenko’s Apartment (Квартира Алексея Сергиенко, Kazanskaya 12), the Little Star Lofts (Звёздочка, in the factory Sovetskaya zvezda, Liflandskaya 3), the art space Bye-Bye-Ballet (Belinskogo 9), the creative space К7 (Kazanskaya iela 7), and the art gallery ZAVOD (Nab. Obvodnogo 150).  During the festival, each of these space featured special events. I’d like to particularly highlight the master class by Anton Adasinski (from the Derevo Theater) and his living bio-installation which was specially grown by biologist Sasha Belov in collaboration with artist Sasha Yefremov.

The festival was the first pilot project to bring together the art spaces in St. Petersburg, many of which are still less than a year old. Let’s hope that the festival will take place next year as well. Taking into account that our city is currently experiencing a boom in the birth of various contemporary art fields, next year we can expect a completely new route.