From the editors
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY
MAP OF THE CITY
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
IN OR OUT
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL
THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
THE ROYAL CASTLE
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
WRITING OF DREAMS
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT
OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
THE AMBER ROOM
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
PLACE OF EXECUTION
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
MATTER AND SPIRIT
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
MAN AND WOMAN
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"
ON THE STREET
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
BEFORE THE CITY
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
Aleksandr Sologubov / Kaliningrad, Russia
http://www.Koenigsberg.de/ "They could be revanchists!" you might say. No, it's just the ordinary website of an ordinary Bavarian burgh." A romantic Frankish town, looking like a picture from a book, "an architecture ensemble of European rank" that has not yet been inundated by tourists… "It's a place for heightened feelings and respite, where ribwort can still find its way through the spaces in stone paving, where grape trellises climb up the facades of thoroughly restored houses and a well on a market square nestles under shady chestnuts…" Nothing to boast about! That Koenigsberg can only be proud of the fact that it is the birthplace of Regiomontan, a mathematician esteemed to a fairly limited circle.
http://www.korolev.ru "Ah-ah," you may say, "this is the former Kaliningrad (situated near Moscow), which became Korolev in 1996." "The center of rocket-space engineering, a leader of our progressive science… a city of science … 161,000 people … approximately 67% of the population has higher or specialized secondary education… it has been considered the most developed city in Russia and the Moscow region, and in accordance with overall results from the year 2000 it is regarded as one of the 20 best cities in Europe." I wonder how many people wear eyeglasses there. Ordinary provincial towns. They keep up with the Joneses, but nobody knows about them.
And what about us? http:///.www.Koenigsberg.ru/, http:///www.kaliningrad.ru/, http://www.klg.ru, http://www.klgd.ru, http://www.koenig.su/, http://koenig.ru and many others. Despite the variety of sites, they are all more or less the same: Formerly Prussian Koenigsberg, Kant's homeland, the location of major battles of World War II, a big international port, the Russian outpost of the Baltic Sea region, separated from the its mainland by many kilometers of foreign lands", and, finally, the amber storeroom of our Motherland… Our Kaliningrad is a best-selling brand. Yet when I was in a small Polish village and said that I came from Kaliningrad, former Koenigsberg, my interlocutor - a retired book-keeper - asked me whether it was a kingdom and where it was located.
Thus, a name is meaningless if there is nothing to it. Who is interested in these Koenigsbergs and Korolevs!? But this Russian regional center, attached to Lithuania and Poland by the Baltic Sea, is of interest to everyone. The salt of this interest is the territory itself. The territory has continuously passed from hand to hand. Kaliningrad is exemplary of the great variety of cases when a culture has found itself in a "foreign" space. But to tell the truth, this case is quite special due to a variety of features concentrated in a single place.
Firstly, the origin of Kaliningrad does not lie in some ancient conquest. Rather, it is almost contemporary.
Then, there is the high population density (especially when compared to the Kuril Islands!). And it was inhabited not by neighbors who had long propped up the border, waiting for a convenient opportunity, but by absolute strangers who arrived from far away. There are numerous of places of origin and hundreds of nationalities amongst the local population. It is, hence, an absolutely different culture.
How does culture act in a "foreign" space? What are the cultural practices of its assimilation? That is, what are the specific means of activity of a people belonging to one cultural commonality when facing the material and symbolic development of a territory inhabited by them? The range of practices is wide: from agricultural techniques to the settlement of the area to the writing of history and naming of places. The French structuralist Roland Barthes defined "logosphere" as the unity of ideas and words of one culture. Using his term, one can define the "logosphere of Kaliningrad" as the unity of ideas and words specifying this place on the Earth. If pronounced sounds didn't disappear instantly in the air, but existed for ten or fifteen years, Kaliningrad would be buzzing with all that had been uttered during this period. With all that has gone on, the most frequently used words would also be of the most diverse nature. Let's listen to this buzzing for a minute: Germans, Regermanization, Russians, outpost, Prussia, Russia, Koenigsberg, storm, Kaliningrad, amber, Motherland, strange land, Kant, Peter, port, visas, vodka, zone…
Today's Kaliningrad is an exceptional place for the thoughtful tourist, who is sincerely interested in culture and not just seeking something extraordinary or entertaining. Even if it is not always beautiful, comfortable, easy, cheap, safe, clean, quickly, tasty, or pleasant here…
What is it possible to interest oneself in here? It is a contemporary existing, live laboratory.
Be active! Don't shuffle behind a boring guide. Drop in on artists and then you will know that "the originality of Kaliningrad citizens' creativity has been passed over in silence for a long period of time…whispered tales of old castles and the mystery of ruins evolved an absolutely different culture, and wonderful canvases appeared - transparent and deep, with images of the old city shining through new buildings, and fantastic plots drive you away to other dimension…"
Buy a paint pot from members of the National Bolshevik Party and write on a wall: "Kaliningrad is a Russian city!"
Explore bookshops. You will learn that "Kaliningradians are kind and Light-Hearted; Inventive Name-Children in Native land Gathering Russian Acclimatized Demos into Amber Northwest Safety Island".
Try to cross any border in an old Lada automobile with two bottles of "Velikoe Posolstvo" (Great Embassy) and a cigarette packet in the back seat of your car: "Gdzie Pan jedziesz I co Pan wieziesz?" That will thrill you.
Buy a bottle of "Kafedralnii Sobor" (Cathedral Church) and share it among the ancient walls, sniffing the river air. But don't show excessive zeal!
Lend an ear to conversations, don't ignore advertisements or teenagers' wall creations, take a tram on narrow metal tracks (for the time being there are still trams and metal tracks in Kaliningrad).
Follow our guide. It will help you to get to know the city.
One more thing. I write, perusing the texts of the guide, and my computer grows red and green in disapproval. But this book is about a living city, so some neologisms and jargon are acceptable.
Translation by N. Shtock