Baltic Biennale 2012

“Archipelago Baltia”

25 October – 8 November

Baltic International Biennale is a St. Petersburg’s long-term project. It is run by the Museum of Modern Art of St. Petersburg State University and supported by the Committee for External Relations of the Government of St. Petersburg and Rizzordi Art Foundation. “Archipelago Baltia” is the metaphor of the third biennale, meaning the cultural closeness of the countries which belong to one geographic region and show unity as well as diversity of their national and cultural identities.

Owing to Peter the Great’s desire St. Petersburg is historically placed in a special geopolitical space of the Baltic Sea Region. The founder himself saw the very region as the place of contact between Russia and Europe. Having lost its status as a capital after the October Revolution of 1917, St. Petersburg found itself in the centripetal vortex of Moscow statehood. Still the city managed to preserve its special cultural landscape and artistic traditions. The location at the Baltic Sea provided the unique opportunity for the city’s direct cultural dialog with the countries of the nearest European region, which could flow avoiding the bureaucratic vertical of Moscow. All these features still function today. That is why our project’s aim is to try and discern what there is so particularly Baltic in the perception, character and visual approach of the St. Petersburg artists. Also, as in any metropolis, this feature – the “Balticness” – is not only characteristic of the locals, but spreads to those who come here and choose to live and create in St. Petersburg due to different reasons, and who, in turn, affect the city’s artistic landscape to various extends.

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