Galerie Fortak. June 05, 2009
THE KEY TO THE WHITE NIGHTS
...While looking at the art images, we all are involved in the process of translation of different cultural codes imbedded in the visual language of images, allusions and context.
This exhibition, carefully and with care assembled by our charming gallerist, is shrewdly titled "Der Schlüssel zur Stadt". This key is actually art – the art about that city and created by those who live or work there.
What kind of a key it might be? – The art can be considered as an illustration to what once was called "the Petersburgian text of Russian culture". "The Petersburgian text" is a very special text created about this city or – which is more interesting – not "about" the city in the narrow sense, but still relevant to it because the city influenced those who breathe its seductive atmosphere...
And the artists showed at this exhibition demonstrate this cultural richness – of traditions and associations – very well.
As a result, the cultural image of Sankt Petersburg is very diverse, unreal. It has always been full of European architecture, art, fashions, and ideas – but all of them had to be domesticated on the marshy unsteady lands of unhealthy weather and unsavory political climate. This is the root of dreamlike (or sometimes outright nightmarish) atmosphere of the Petersburgian text of Russian culture – from carnivalesque Petersburgian Stories of Gogol to surreal worlds of some of the artists on these walls.
This event is called "White Nights in Berlin" – because as modest as it is, it brings that very special atmosphere of St. Petersburg, with its beauty, spirituality and absurdity, a bit closer to Berlin.
Prof. Evgeny Steiner,
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London