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Exhibition in France: The stories of St.-Petersburg. Manual photography – St.-Petersburg school

Foundation of Informational and Cultura projects “FotoDepartament” in collaboration with Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Committee for Culture of St.Petersburg present the photography exhibition in the France-Russia 2010 Official Program:

“The stories of St.-Petersburg. Manual photography – St.-Petersburg school.
Second half of XX – beginning of XXI century”

23 September – 12 October

La Halle des Chartrons, Bordo, France


Olga Korsunova, FotoDepartament
Arkady Ippolitov, Hermitage Museum


Vladimir Antoschenkov, Leonid Bogdanov, Sergey Zhirkevich, Natalia Zaharova, Alexey Zelensky, Alexander Kitaev, Olga Korsunova, Nadya Kuznetsova, Igor Lebedev, Elena Mikhnovskaya, Evgeny Mokhorev, Alexander Nikiporets, Andrey Polushkin, Dmitry Provotorov, Aleksey Savkin, Boris Smelov, Vitaliy Smirnov, Maria Snigirevskaya, Liudmila Tabolina, Aleksey Tikhonov, Aleksandr Filippov, Natalia Tsehomskaya, Valter Tsurkan, Stas Chabutkin, Alexander Chernogrivov, Anatoliy Shishkov, Sergey Scherbakov, Bronislav Yasinskiy.


“The stories of St.-Petersburg. Manual photography – St.-Petersburg school. Second half of XX – beginning of XXI century” exhibition is devoted to an outstanding phenomenon in the history of Russian photography: it is about the very special way of print, kept by the photographers from St.-Petersburg workshops. St.-Petersburg has a unique place in the history of Russia, as well as in the history of the whole Europe. It is a city that still
preserves the atmosphere of the 19th century, the time when photography was invented. Keeping its gorgeous architecture, it also keeps its cultural traditions. Classicism, severity and steadiness can perfectly characterize St.-Petersburg, and that is what makes it unique and attracts foreign visitors.
Photography is a modern and urgent sphere of art. St.-Petersburg is a young city, compared with most of European ones – it is only a bit over 300 – and its orientation on classics is somewhat paradoxical, it makes everything born in the city inimitable. Saint-Petersburg photography underlines city’s originality in a distinct way.
The exhibition is based on the work of the photographers whose names are connected with the so-called “St.-Petersburg school”. This term, which just recently became current in the art sphere, is connected not with geography, but with a certain type of consciousness which implies a special attitude to the world around, a unique attitude to the art of photography; it also unites various masters coming from different generations. “St.-Petersburg school” is a fullgrown and original phenomenon in the history of Russian photography, it takes it’s beginning from the 70-s. It can be characterized not only with the specific St.-Petersburg themes and subjects, but also with a special vision that unites the dissimilar works, which can be defined as the general sense of style.
Apart of the stylistic originality the school is also characterized with its technical matter, which keeps the connection with the traditions of the 19th century, when mechanical print was yet unknown. As a result of some chemical reactions and different authors’ techniques each image becomes original, because it’s impossible to produce two exact copies that would not differ in some details. On the exhibition all the diversity of authors’ shooting and printing techniques will be represented: beginning from the shootings with soft-focus lenses and monocles, negative scratching, various superpositions, multiple exposition, gelatin-silver print and multiple negatives print, solarization and photogram before painting the imprint over with colour pencils, oil paints and rendering.
The project is devoted to those technical and stylistic peculiarities of the St.-Petersburg school. All in all in the exhibition the works of both well-known and young photographers will be represented. The exhibition begins from the works made in 1960s by Bronislav Yasinsky, a photographer, whose name is uncommon even for those involved into photography art. He was one of the first Russian photographers who worked in the conditions of severe censorship, but managed to exceed the limits of purely amateur photography and comprehend photography as a free and self-sufficient art.
Besides the exhibits include the works by Boris Smelov, one of the most important photographers not only in Leningrad – St.-Petersburg, but in the whole Russia, and the works by the photographers from his circle – Leonid Bogdanov, Boris Kudryakov, Olga Korsunova, Alexander Kitaev, Stas Chabutkin, Sergey Zhirkevich and others. It was Boris Smelov who managed to express the unique stylistics and special approach to the print technique, the originality of St.-Petersburg theme, due to him it became possible to talk about the St.-Petersburg school of photography. Other authors include Liudmila Tabolina, Natalia Tsehomskaya and Vladimir Antoschenkov.
The modern authors will be represented in all their variety. These are Alexander Chernogrivov, Evgeny Mokhorev, Igor Lebedev, Alexey Zelensky, Maria Snigirevskaya, Alexander Nikiporets, Sergey Scherbakov and others.

More information and images for mass-media:

Organizer of the project:
The Foundation of informational and cultural programs “FotoDepartament”
Saint-Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 32, tel/fax +7(812) 315-5925