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Catching the Instance

A new exhibition by Dmitry Konradt of his iconic images of St. Petersburg rock musicians is now on view.

Published: May 22, 2013 (Issue # 1760)



  • Andrei ‘The Pig’ Panov (r) performing with his band Avtomaticheskiye Udovletvoriteli in the early 1990s.
    Photo: Dmitry Konradt

  • Akvarium’s Boris Grebenshchikov, photographed in 1987.
    Photo: Dmitry Konradt

Dmitry Konradt, one of the city’s top fine-art photographers, was there with his camera to document most of the historic moments as well as the liberating spirit of St. Petersburg rock music during the Leningrad rock explosion of the 1980s.

Now focusing almost exclusively on abstract and eerily beautiful photographs taken in the courtyards and alleys of old St. Petersburg, Konradt is displaying some of his iconic rock images — featuring Russian rock legends such as DDT, Akvarium, Kino, Alisa, Auctyon, AVIA and Sergei Kuryokhin’s Pop Mechanics — at an exhibition at the Timiryazev Library that opened last weekend.

“Whether Russian rock exists or not is still an open question for me, but it can be said with some confidence that in the 1980s, it did,” Konradt said, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times ahead of the opening.

“I am not sure about now. Back then it was the combination of a [specific] time and place,” he said. “We witnessed it and managed to capture a few things.”

Called “From Konradt’s Rock Archives of the 1980s,” the exhibition includes 28 photographs of leading Russian rock musicians active in that era. Some are dead, some have disappeared and some went on to become big national stars.

Originally, the exhibition was created for Finnish audiences and was held at the Pick Me gallery in Helsinki to coincide with the release of “Pietari on rock,” a book about Leningrad rock music written by Finnish writer Tomi Huttunen and illustrated with more than 60 photographs by Konradt, who was credited as a co-author.

That exhibition, which included 31 works, then moved to Helsinki’s Stoa Cultural Center, where it began a tour of Finland, including stops in Tampere, Turku, Kuopio and Oulu. The copies of the photographs for the touring show were made by the Finland-Russia Society.

“The works were selected based on two principles: On one hand, they had to illustrate Tomi’s book to a certain degree. On the other hand, I wanted them to be good photographs,” Konradt said.

“[Tomi] told me, ‘We need this person,’ and I looked to see if I had good images of that person from my point of view as a photographer. To me, purely photographic qualities are important — notwithstanding the rarity of the situation or the identity of the subject. I tried to be not only a chronicler, but also a photographer.”

Konradt said he has included several atmospheric photographs to convey the mood of the 1980s Leningrad rock scene for the original exhibition, which is now on view in St. Petersburg.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Jan. 27


Observe the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.



Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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